It's a centuries-old tile tradition.

What They Did
To create an elegant, light-filled look, Suzanne painted the walls and cabinetry the same creamy white and then continued the less-is-more palette with white marble countertops, a white tile backsplash, and linen barstools. Hammered metal pendant lights a
| Credit: Photo: Erica George Dines

We're suckers for pretty tile. While homeowners and designers have been all about the clean, mod look of glossy white subway tile for the last few years, we're ready for a change ... something that feels equally classic but a little less ubiquitous. And good news! We've found it. One tile trend has been around for centuries (literally), but it's flown a little more under the radar. It's called zellige tile, and now we're dying to use it everywhere, from cottage kitchens to pool house bathrooms.

Moroccan artisans have been making zellige tile (pronounced zelley-guh) for more than a thousand years, so you've likely seen it before. Unlike subway tiles, which people love for their sharp, clean lines, the appeal of zellige tiles lies in their natural vibes and even their imperfections. The tiles are made from terra cotta, so there's a built-in earthiness that seems to warm up whatever space you use them in, too. And much like subway tile, which seems to play well with just about any kind of décor, zellige tile works in a vast number of spaces, depending on the color, shape, and glaze you choose.

Here, five different ideas for incorporating zellige tile into your home … and five so-stylish reasons to make the switch from subway to zellige tile.

Color-Blocked Bath

In this Chip-and-Jo-designed Fixer Upper space, two different glazes of zellige tiles are used to create a funky, but serene bathroom that's packed with personality.

White Done Right

Need proof that not all white tile backsplashes are created equal? This kitchen backsplash is loaded with texture and depth thanks to glossy glazed zellige tiles.

Knockout Pattern

Think outside the box and trade square or rectangle tiles for hexagons, then kick it up one more notch with a tricolor assortment that really makes a statement, as the designers did in this dreamy kitchen.

Twist on Traditional

For a small space that really sings, dial up the drama of the classic herringbone pattern with a dynamite hue. Natural color variations, too, make this look a tonal winner.

Subway Style

Do subway tile one better with rectangular zellige tiles that look modern and contemporary without losing their signature warmth.

What's the verdict? Will you be installing zellige tile next time your kitchen or bathroom needs a facelift?

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