Monday, March 6, 2017

Victorian Tile Pathways...Quintessential English!

Before the winter rain in late November, we started on a much needed curb appeal project repainting the exterior, adding decorative shutters and replacing old shrubs with boxwood evergreens and Italian cypress for a more traditional look.   The project also included a new straight pathway from the sidewalk to our front door.  We had it made of concrete with a brick border.  I am happy with the new path but it was not my first choice.  Since I had other home projects I wanted to complete too, I had to spread my funds across the board.

My first choice was a black and white checkered tile pathway like those common in England.  The  style is referred to as "Victorian tile flooring".

Check these walkways out:

The look was popularized during the 19th century neo-gothic revival which is also known as Victorian Gothic.  The style uses mosaic multi-colored  and patterned floors made of polished stone or marble.
Historically, the cost of materials and labor limited this type of flooring to palatial estates and public buildings like universities, government  centers or grand cathedrals.

In the late 19th century that all changed and the more affordable tile making methods developed at that time made the floor pattern tiling available to the growing upper middle classes of the era.
 Thanks in large part to Herbert Minton, son of successful and popular earthenware potter Thomas Minton, this change came about.

Check these walkways out:

 Herbert used his knowledge of earthenware to develop new industrialized production methods for creating decorative tiles known as encaustic or inlaid tiles.
 His new technique allowed mass production and brought this once exclusive look to the homes of many Enlanders.
Looking forward to continuing the curb appeal projects in the spring when the rain stops.  My next task/goal is to add dentil moulding trim above the windows like the images below.