Agnes Emery, a Brussels-born architect, is making life more beautiful with her unique Moroccan tiles.
Her joyful style of combining unlikely colors and patterns stands apart in the often play-it-safe decorating world.
Looking for tile online when I was planning a renovation a few years ago, I stumbled upon Emery & Cie and discovered the stunning work of Agnes Emery. Her Moroccan kitchen jumped out at me while flipping through a foreign design magazine. The large star light first caught my eye as that is one of my admirations. I have consistently loved them since seeing them in México as a child. An even greater devotion is tile. I am passionate about handmade tiles because of their imperfections. The irregularities of their shape and color I find charming and endlessly captivating. The evenly finished factory tiles leave me cold. My first love was the Mexican tile, but Moroccan zelliges have soared to the top of my favorites list. They are even more unpredictable, a bit flatter and more reflective than the Mexican variety. When selecting a singular color of say green, you will end up with a wide spectrum of greens, some lighter, some darker, and some that are not even green but perhaps blue. Because of this variety using a singular color of zellige can make quite a statement. Pattern isn’t necessary to be bold. Moroccan tile comes in the most beautiful tints. There is vibrant turquoise, deep cobalt, and mermaid greens. There are also gorgeous pinks and moody purples which you don’t commonly see from the average tile maker. The shades are sometimes soft and other times audacious. Emery & Cie creates their own color ways which are even more extensive and sensual than the normal Moroccan color palate.
The Emery & Cie zellige color palette. How to choose? They are all enticing.
The kitchen that initiated my adoration of Agnes Emery
Emery injects tension into her interiors to bring them to life.
Emery & Cie also features Moroccan cement tiles. Emery designs her own unique patterns and color ways. Other designers might use one bold pattern, but few would mix them all together in one space. Her website is extensive with installation photos, instructions, and a monthly color palette. She has an interesting section describing her thoughts on color. She says…”Too many colours in harmony are tiresome and crush the imagination, while introducing a slight tension re-awakens interest.”
This bathroom above perfectly depicts her unconventional expanses of color. I love how the door opens to a surprise of turquoise as if you were swimming in the sea like the fish on the floor.
A water closet is never a boring white space in Emery’s hands. She would be appalled by the spec houses in the states that have uninspired water closets with cream walls matching cream factory-made floor tiles. In addition to beautiful tiles, she creates fantastical iron pieces. I love her simple yet creative way of hanging a roll of toilet paper with her iron hook.
Although Emery stands apart with her use of color, she is quite skilled at creating interesting spaces with little color. This white bathroom above is anything but plain with the variety of whites seen in the “white” zelliges, the porcelain farm sink, and beautiful plastered walls. The etched glass tiles are a special touch.
The mirrored tiles of India are an inspiration to Emery.
They inspired her to create her own mirror scales. Above they surround a small door above a banquette. Another gorgeous setting with a mix of patterns and stunning colors.
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