Zanzibar: An Exotic Tale Told in Ceramic Tile
Paying homage to a beautiful tradition of block printed textile patterns, the new Country Floors Zanzibar ceramic wall tile collection combines a subtle matte finish with washed hues inspired by the sun drenched beaches along the Indian Sea, and by the indigo, henna and natural botanical dyes used in textile hand craft.
In bringing you these tiles, and thinking about the textiles on which the patterns are based and the people who wear and use them, we are reminded of what we love most about Africa. That is the beautiful concept of Ubuntu, which somehow threads itself through the fabric of an entire, huge continent. It roughly translates to “I am because we are.” It is about community, about opening one’s home and heart to others, even strangers. The idea is that in doing so, we are not giving up something that is ours, but rather that we ourselves are blessed to be able to share.
We recall a night spent in east Africa, under the impossibly bright stars of the Southern Cross, where we were welcomed warmly by people whom we had never met. They gifted us with kanga, the printed cotton textiles worn there. We were invited to wear our kanga while in the village, in a spirit of community with our new friends and honoring their traditions. We slept in their simple houses with roofs crafted of woven reeds, and the next day we cooked outdoors together over open fires and feasted and sang and danced with our new friends. Swathed in our lively patterned fabrics, we felt lively ourselves – inspired, maybe even transformed by the generosity, the joy and the welcome that surrounded us.
These nine textile-inspired patterns are offered in a subtle matte finish, reflecting the soft, natural cotton hand of those textiles. The colors are less intense than the cloth that inspired them and thus more appropriate for the permanence of the built environment. They reflect the cool coastal colors of Zanzibar, an island city off the coast of Tanzania in the Indian Sea. The tile backgrounds reflect the bright white light that bathes the seaside, breezy and cool. Patterns are suffused with watery surf, cool pebble and warm sand colors, with a delicate hint of a rosy island sunset here and there.
What inspires you?
What travels, cultures and people inspire your interiors? Our global curation of artisan tile has a bit of something for everyone. We love to see how you use our tile in your design projects. Please share them with us by tagging @country_floors on social media. After our time in Africa, we know this: we are because you are.