Creating a Custom Delft Green Floral Tile

I’ve shared tid-bits here and there of this special corner of our home, but today, wanted to share the full process of how the custom Delft tile bar came to be! I truly so hope this process inspires at least one person to do something similar in their home. It’s such a sweet and unique way to personalize a space. Love the idea for a bar, butler’s pantry, powder bath or small kitchen.

Finding a Delf Tile Source

This was buy and large the toughest part of this project. I was familiar with the beautiful work of Petra Palumbo, and originally pin pointed her handmade, green strawberry tiles for this space. After receiving an initial batch of samples, I was sold! Fast forward a couple months, once we were ready to actually move forward and place an order, due to supply chain, set backs due to the pandemic, and other factors, the final price point landed outside our budget for this space. Can’t recommend her product enough though! The quality and coloring is absolutely stunning.

Ultimately, we pivoted. At one point, I almost lost hope for the vision and just went with the same tile backsplash we used in the majority of the kitchen. But I’m so glad I stayed the course!

I tried sourcing tiles locally and having them handprinted by a local artist. Tried having our installer glaze over those tiles…that was a no-go. Attempted having a printer in Palm Beach source and print on tiles…also no-go. And vetted several other artists who specialized in hand-painting tile and firing. Nothing was quite hitting the mark. Until…

Katherine Verdickt Tile

After quite a bit of trial and error, I ended up moving forward with Katherine Verdickt. A Massachusetts based artist with an incredible talent for creating replica Delft tile. From tile sourcing, painting, firing + glazing, she covers all the bases from start to finish. Her shop showcases mostly traditional blue + white Delft, so when I reached out to see if she would be interested in working on green tiles, she was thrilled to take on something a little different! Together, we went back and forth on color matching, inspiration, corner scale, sampling, etc. to get them just right. Honestly, it was SUCH a fun process, and I’m just thrilled Katherine was open to my thoughts/ideas and happy to collaborate in that way.

Color Selection

Once Katherine agreed to providing reproductions in green, I was off to the paint store to select the perfect color for her to play off of. The custom hutch across from the bar is a dead ringer to Farrow & Ball’s Vert de Terre. So I wanted the custom delft tile to have similar undertones, but not too matchy-matchy. I landed on a deeper hue in Benjamin Moore ‘Secret Path’ CSP-800.

Corner Inspiration + Scale

Katherine sent me photos from historically accurate Delt tile books as a reference/starting point for corner options. I love how she prides her work on being historically accurate and it was amazing to see all the incredible, and intricately detailed elements on so many tiles that were used in European countries all the way back to the 16th century. And while most were a little too busy for my vision, we honed in on a simpler style {as seen on the right below} as the perfect corner detail. From there she sent a few different samples for size scale on the corners. We started around 2″ from the corner, but ultimately landed on around 1″. Of course each tile is handprinted, so no two are exactly alike. Therefore we guaged that a flux between 1″-1 1/4″ was the goal.

Flower Motif Inspiration

While the majority of the tiled wall would consist of ‘corners-only’ tile, I also wanted to incorporate a handful of floral motif designs throughout. During the process, Katherine and I discussed which flowers to incorporate on the motifs. I sent renderings {including the below} for inspiration, and trusted her artistic take on scale and exact execution. I wanted to include nods to special women in my life. So had flowers that represented my Mom and Mother In Law’s favorites {tulips + camellias}, as well as my own. Along with several blooms that reminded me of travels abroad and varietals that are native to South Carolina. Katherine ended up creating 15 flower motifs and they turned out better than I imagined! The coloring, the scale, the DETAIL. She even added a few surprise details like bumble bees and a dragonfly, which were such a sweet surprise. Truly a work of art!

Inspiration turned into real life tiles!

Creating a Custom Delft Green Floral Tile

The Install Process

I don’t want to say finding an installer was difficult, but we did have the project bid out by two different companies. The first didn’t really want to tackle this area and presented {what I interpreted as} a pretty inflated rate. Second time around was a charm. We worked with someone who was patient enough, and willing to listen to and understand this vision.

On install day, we laid the tiles out on the floor in the exact pattern they’d be installed on the wall. From there we were able to individually place each tile. We looked at not only floral motif placement, but also how the variation of tile color played off one another. The goal was to place each square in a way that felt organic and not too perfect or contrived to give it more of an old world feel. I know some this may seem tiresome, but I actually loved being involved and having a hand in the process!

Creating a Custom Delft Green Floral Tile

Color Variation

You’ll notice a color variation in the base of the tiles, as seen very clearly above. The contrast isn’t quiet so severe in person, in my opinion. But this was intentional. When Katherine was initially glazing the tiles, she asked if I wanted them all to have a white base, or have a mix of coloration with some beige and/or grey mixed in {which she typically does}. I opted for a mix of white + beige. While these are not handmade tiles, they’re hand-painted and hand-glazed, so the color variation adds a touch of history and gives them that older, historical, more handmade feel. I love how it suits this space in particular because we have a ton of light in this room, but you could also go with a more uniform base tile if that was preferred.

A Peek at the Finished Product

I think that covers all the bases on the tile front! But of course feel free to leave a question in the comments or email me directly if you need further clarification on anything. I absolutely love how this custom delft tile bar came together. It’s such a special corner and conversation piece in our home.

I’m still waiting on a few final touches before I share this corner in it’s entirety, but soon! Very soon.

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