Tiles, Mosaics and Patterns of the Far East

KA-POW! I'm back!

Today I want to share a colorful burst of tiles and mosaic designs that I've lovingly accumulated from across the web for your viewing pleasure and inspiration.... But first, a little history, so you know where decorative tiles originated: Terracotta roof tiles found in Lerna, Greece date as far back as the 3rd millennium BCE, the early Helladic period! From there, the roof tile spread rapidly from Greece to nearby countries of the Mediterranean and beyond to the far East. The earliest evidence of decorative tile works, dated to the 13th century BCE, can be found in the form of glazed bricks in the Elamite Temple at Chogha Zanbil, an ancient Elamite complex in Iran (also known as Persia). Glazed bricks were also used to make decorative low reliefs in Ancient Mesopotamia, particularly on the Ishtar Gate of Babylon, like this:

Soon, painted and glazed bricks became an integral part of Persian Architecture and naturally the trend spread to the rest of the Islamic world and even to the Mediterranean by way of Islamic Spain. For me, the most inspiring and beautiful tile work is that of Morocco, Egypt and the intricate Iznik pottery of Turkey under the Ottoman Empire, which I happen to love because I visited Istanbul, fell in love and came back overloaded from the Grand Bazaar! I must definitely do a post on that in the near future, I have so many incredible pictures to share!

Anyway, I just wanted to give you a brief history on these beauties, so without further ado, here are some of the most stunning examples of Persian, Moroccan, Egyptian, Ottoman, Middle Eastern, Mediterranean, Moorish (whatever you'd like to call it) style tiles and mosaics to give you a bout of those dreamy whimsical sighs and get you inspired for the weekend (yes, it's almost here again, yahoo)!

Enjoy, and stay tuned for my next post on Moorish, Persian and Ottoman fountains!

This (above) is my little collage of the smaller images I found, different tiles and patterns...
I wish I could make it bigger!

!!!!!!!!Love, love, LOVE!!!!!!!!

These exquisite designs cover and adorn floors, wrap columns, staircases, walls and more....

I used this lovely picture in my color inspiration collage for my new apartment back in this post!

Wow, this is my favorite....

Tiles can work together to form intricate Mosaics like this one...

Tiles combined with tile borders for added pattern and detail....

Here are some gorgeous examples of that Iznik tile from Turkey I was talking about, I have some of my own from my travels to Istanbul, so I'll share those soon...

(Topkapi Palace - Istanbul, Turkey)

And last, but certainly not least, I am in love with the way these tile designs intricately adorn water fountains throughout the world, particularly in the Middle East.....

Gorgeous! I would love to have a big garden with this beauty in it! If you enjoyed this post then you'll want to stay tuned for my upcoming post on Moorish, Persian and Ottoman fountains!

(All images via Google key words image search and Flickr, all information via Wikipedia)


  1. Wonderful collection of photos, very inspiring, thank you!!

  2. Astoundingly vivid treat - yum! You knocked yourself out pulling this together.

  3. Really good collection for all tiles design. I love this tiles color and various model.

  4. These are beautiful! Thanks for sharing!

  5. Where oh Where can I find these far east inspired tiles in the States??? Thinking of a surround for my fireplace.