Delft Tile Kitchen Style

Delft tile backsplash in a kitchenWill blue-and-white Delft tile always endure?

I keep expecting to read that it’s passé. Instead, iconic cobalt blue-and-white Dutch tiles continue to be chosen for kitchens whether the ceramics are made in Morocco, Texas, France or The Netherlands. While the look screams ‘traditional’ it always feels fresh. Plus, there are so many variations in the motifs – including genre figures, animals, florals, abstracts, geometrics, landscapes, Chinoiserie – it works with a majority of architectural and cabinet styles.

The all-over pattern of abstract floral blue-and-white tiles [top] marries well with a marble counter and the blue-and- white arabesque design on an adjacent wall. The abstraction and repetition give it a modern air (even though it’s not).

blue and white abstract floral Moroccan tilesSimilar tiles come from  Morocco.

figural blue-and-white Delft tiles in a French kitchenA big wall of figural Delft tiles was used behind the huge, black La Cornue range in this glamorous French kitchen, which also boasts a beautiful copper batterie.  Figural tiles like these are found in historic buildings.

detail of Delft figural tiles from the Catherine Palace outside St. Petersberg, RussiaAt the Catherine Palace at Pushkin, outside St. Petersberg, Russia, an exquisite pair of antique tile stoves show Dutch genre figures in exterior landscapes.

blue and white Delft tiles with floral motifsBlue-and-white tiles with delicate flower and animal motifs are the theme for a backsplash by New York designer Sara Gilbane in a kitchen that mixes blue-and-white with black-and white.

Country Floors Royal Makkum blue and white small flower tilesCountry Floors has a charming collection of this style from Royal Makkum, the Dutch company which has made tile with floral motifs since the 17th century at Makkum, in the province of Friesland.

blue and white bird-motif Delft tiles in a white kitchenAnother kitchen, featuring with Royal Makkum bird tiles, takes things in a less precious direction by way of a rustic quarry tile floor and French bistro bar stools that add a golden glow of warmth to all the cool white.

Undoubtedly, Impressionist painter Claude Monet’s Giverny Kitchen is the most celebrated and admired examplar of blue-and-white. Monet was intimately involved in the design and running of his home which still inspires contemporary copies – such as French-made Cuisine de Monetreplica tiles sold by Pavé, a Massachusetts tile and stone supplier. Another exuberant use of blue-and-white is designer Howard Slatkin’s elaborate Delft Tile Ceiling Kitchen in New York City.

(Source:,, gardenweb,, Architectural Digest)

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7 Responses to Delft Tile Kitchen Style

  1. Tricia Rose June 4, 2011 at 1:51 am #

    I will always love it – had it in my old kitchen in France where it .looked just right – anything less would be sacrilege.

  2. Jessica June 4, 2011 at 5:55 pm #

    I love the blue, white and copper combination.

  3. SilverMagpies June 4, 2011 at 10:56 pm #

    I think the appeal is in the timeless combination of blue and white. Always fresh.

  4. RHome410 June 7, 2011 at 5:30 am #

    I am not a blue person at all, but I am drooling over the tiles in the first picture. LOVE them. So soft and not as demanding as some of the others.

  5. Lenore November 7, 2014 at 8:06 pm #

    Blue and white tiles:


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