Malibu Tiles: Architectural Decoration from California

Though many of the tiles produced by Malibu Potteries were unique in their colours and exuberant decoration, some of their designs harkened back to the Arts & Crafts designs of such people as William de Morgan, who was well known for his tile designs of galleons, which bear a striking resemblance to those produced at Malibu Potteries.

The Malibu Potteries company produced colourful catalogues of their tile designs.  One of the many pages of several catalogues listed “Saracen Tiles” which normally came in a 6” x 6” size, though other sizes were available.

The Adamson house was, appropriately, the showcase of the production of the Malibu Potteries output.  Tiles were extensively used throughout the house, often in imaginative ways.  Walls, bathrooms, even baseboards were tiled, as was an outdoor dog bath.

The outdoor dog bath at the Adamson House

On the interior of the house, perhaps the most imaginative application of the tiles was the tile “carpets” that graced the hallways.  Entirely produced in tile – including the fringe – these “carpets” ensured easily cleaned floors, and a cool interior, even in the heat of summer.

The tiled “carpets” in the hallways of the Adamson House

A detail of the tiled “carpet” and “fringe” at the Adamson House. The Persian-style ‘rug’ was designed by William Handly of the Malibu Potteries.

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