Things You May Want to Know About Mosaic Tile

An overview of mosaic tile

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What type of tiles does Space Invader use for his mosaics? Where can i buy some? of mosaic tile

There are different types of tile and what they are made of. You can see the different kinds in the second link,just scroll down.

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How to Make Your Own Mosaic Tile

Mosaic art dates back several thousand years when artisans created geometric designs on the floors in affluent homes using stone and ceramic tiles. Artists today continue to apply tesserae (mosaic tiles) in intricate designs to walls, furniture, garden items and household objects for decoration. With the wide variety of ceramic, glass and handmade tesserae available, mosaic tile art remains popular. Found objects like sea glass, broken pottery, shells and river rock often appear in mosaic tile creations. Using tools and supplies designed for making mosaics and depending on project complexity, beginning mosaic artists can create mosaic tiles within several days.


Step 1

Draw the mosaic tile design pattern on the mosaic base. The mosaic pattern can be a freehand drawing, geometrical pattern or drawing adapted from another work of art. Draw the pattern on the base with a pencil first, then make any revisions and trace over the pencil with a felt-tip pen. Unless you will trim the tiles into smaller pieces, keep the pattern design open and avoid areas with small details. Separate the mosaic tiles by color prior to arranging them in the pattern.

Step 2

Lay the tile pieces face-up on top of the base, using the pattern as a guideline. Re-arrange the tiles and substitute tile colors until you achieve the desired mosaic pattern layout. Do not use any glue yet.

Step 3

Trim the tiles with tile nippers to ensure alignment within the mosaic pattern. Wear safety glasses while cutting mosaic tiles to protect yourself from stray tile shards and splinters.


Step 1

Glue tile pieces to the base, using mosaic tile adhesive and a spatula. Apply enough adhesive to cover the base of each. When pressed into place on the mosaic base, you should see a small amount of glue around the base of each tile piece.

Step 2

Trim tiles as needed, using the tile nippers when fitting and gluing the mosaic tile pieces into place.

Step 3

Press tile pieces firmly in place, leaving approximately 1/8 inch of space between the tile pieces. Repeat with additional tiles until mosaic pattern is complete.

Step 4

Let adhesive cure for 24 hours in a well-ventilated area to avoid excessive exposure to the adhesive chemicals. Open windows and doors, turn on ceiling fans or put fans in doorways to ensure air flow through the work area.


Step 1

Apply sanded mosaic grout to the gaps in between the mosaic tiles using a spatula. Fill the gaps completely to prevent air bubbles in the grout and to cover sharp edges of the mosaic tiles.

Step 2

Remove any excess grout from the mosaic tile surfaces using a dry paper towel. Do not remove any grout from between the mosaic tiles that could expose sharp tile edges and corners.

Step 3

Allow grout to dry for 30 minutes in a well-ventilated area. Remove any remaining grout from the mosaic tile surfaces using a damp sponge. Avoid adding additional moisture to the grout; grout can crack as it dries if it was too wet. Allow the grout to cure for 24 hours.

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Get the Vibrant Colors and Materials of Mosaic Tiles to Liven Up the Walls
Dainty mosaic tiles in blends of stone, metal, and glass or separately adorn the wall in mystic rainbow colors. Art, fantasy, design, and technology have combined to generate a superbly impressive variety of mosaics with color and appeal. Create design pieces anywhere around the home or business. Kitchen and bathroom backsplashes present great opportunities for decoration. Match them with the fittings, curtains and doors and windows. Get them in squares and brick patterns besides the interlocking variety to bring creative approaches to backsplashes. Morning Fog The Morning Fog wall tiles do make loud and clear statements. It is a lustrous ceramic tile lovingly made by hand. The three designs are available in animated light gray tones. Create a contemporary scene or a traditional ambiance with the 3-by-6 brick design. Go for the transitional or modern approach with the smart 4-by-12 brick pattern. The Morning Fog Ogee Pattern shines in every style of the environment with its curving softness. The pretty grays suit every dcor whether built with marble, granite or quartz. Would you prefer to have a monochrome smartness that matches with a gray countertop? Oceano Brick The stained glass tile has a similar impact to the ocean with its rising and falling blue waves! Oceano Brick would grace backsplashes with a running brick pattern. The blue and gray shades would sit well on quartz stone countertops too. On a backsplash, match it spectacularly with wooden cabinets in both modern and traditional styles. Kaledo Blend You are definitely going to love the Kaledo design on the backsplash. The mixture of colors does create a dazzling display. It is an interlocking mosaic that mixes together beige natural stone and glass tiles. Beige, blue and gray in the glass tiles create superb effects. Installed on a backsplash, this tile matches well with a beige stone countertop. Complement further with Kaledo borders on the floor. Mochachino The silk-like quality of Mochachino glass mosaic tiles brings a stylish aura to the extended hexagon stained glass tiles. Create a dazzling contemporary appearance with a matching countertop. Install Mochachino straight across the backsplash. On the bathroom accent niche, create an endearing vertical arrangement on the rear wall. Krystal Interlocking When you blend the vivid colors of natural glass with cool metallic designs, the resulting wonder is the Krystal Interlocking wall tile. The soothing effect is obtained by the mosaic pattern of combining a variety of lengths and heights of tile. Use this tile to great effect upon a backsplash mounted above a gray stone countertop. You could also maintain the tranquility with a neutral stone countertop that matches the colors of the glass mosaic. A cabinet of flotsam shade would match with the crystal water-like elements. Paradise Bay A color fantasy of sophisticated glass textures combining with natural stone tiles gives rise to Paradise Bay. These striking designs run in horizontal rows of several tile sizes. It serves equally vividly as a backsplash and installs elegantly on top of a granite countertop. The pretty mosaic shades shine gloriously as ever. Arrange Paradise Bay tiles vertically on the walls, arranging them alternately with bigger neutral ground tiles. Mosaic tiles bring a magical flourish to walls and floors and transform living and business environments. They certainly charm our senses and motivate greater productivity in the rich ambiance. An artistic blending of colors and materials neatly arranged in patterns would match or contrast in dramatic ways. Choose from a great range of materials and blends for that particular personalized effect you seek. Find unique style statements to heighten feelings and emotions for special occasions. Create a flood of memories to accompany you every single day.
Latest Trends for Tile Floor, Walls and Counters
Tiled floors, walls and even counters were a fashionable trend in early American homes and when first introduced gave home builders something to talk about and with the manufacturing process being still in its nascent stages there were some issues of using tiles extensively which had its own specific constrains.Now with state of the art manufacturing processes and the introduction of the latest ink jet design technology, tiles have acquired natural wood grain and natural stone finishes and are available in a variety of designs and sizes to suit every individuals taste for design and ambience.The choices are umpteen to choose from, for the discerning home owner, designer or architect between wood, vinyl and carpet flooring but the New Year dawned this time with a craving for tile flooring to bring a never before seen desire among many to get their homes that new tile look. Due to this reason, kitchen mosaic tiles have received much attention in the recent past, because of their ability to deliver an enhanced functionality to the users. These tiles can improve the look and feel of the kitchen as well. Porcelain has joined ceramic and now tiles are manufactured as thin as 3 millimeters and in very large sizes too, which has revolutionized the concept of flooring and has brought a new elegance to any home, office and anywhere else you may think of having smart and trendy floors.The tremendous development in manufacturing technology has taken a giant leap by making tiles unbelievably lighter compared to what it was years back and this has provided the opportunity to provide very large sized tiles to bring any authentic finish that would be desired.In a very large area installing tiles in the unbelievable sizes of 6 feet x 10 feet would bring in a very different type of ambience as never seen before, because the reduction in lines joining the tiles would enjoy a continuity into infinity which no other type of flooring would be able to achieve. For example, if you are trying to get new tiles for your bathroom, you should take a look at bathroom mosaic tiles because of their functionality and the ability to add value to your space.Tiles are also available in 5 feet x 10 feet and 6 feet x 12 feet in the very large sizes and then gradually coming down to the most conventional sizes that we have been using previously.The easily manageable 3 millimeters thickness of tiles has enabled them to be installed where weight would be constrained but not now because the weights of individual tiles have drastically reduced with the reduction in thickness and they could be installed anywhere to bring that elegance back into those areas.The range of designs available is just unbelievable because the choice at your disposal would be just out of this world as you could chose just about any color or texture.From the matt to the gloss finished tiles that you would like installed anywhere, from the sitting or family room, to the kitchen and onto the corridors, bathrooms, steps, or even out in the veranda.You would be able to select just what you would want and have it ordered and installed at double quicker times than what you would have experienced a few years ago, if you did the same operation at your home or office.
Fading Splendour of Pakistani Mughal Mosque
Legend says when construction on Pakistan's Shah Jahani mosque was destroyed in 1644, advisers to the Mughal governor told him to find someone "who is so pious that he has committed no sin in all his life" to lay the foundation.Bells rang out with the message, calling on such men to come in the darkness of the night and lay a stone in the grounds of the mosque, which was being constructed on the orders of Shah Jahan, the Mughal emperor best known for building the Taj Mahal.The next day, 450 bricks were found placed in the foundations at the site in the town of Thatta."And thus the construction work started taking off," said Syed Murad Ali Shah, the ninth generation heir to Amir Khan, then-governor of Sindh."There were hundreds of pious men and saints in those old good times, but there are none today to salvage the mosque," he said, standing outside the centuries-old structure, its grandeur now threatened by time, exposure, neglect and negligence.Completed in 1647 by thousands of labourers, the Shah Jahani mosque is a rare example of Pakistan's Mughal heritage outside of the country's cultural centre of Lahore, with its famous fort and Badshahi mosque.Thatta was for centuries the historic capital of Lower Sindh, and the central mosque would fill to capacity on Fridays and during Eid.Spanning more than 6,300 square feet, it was famously constructed so that an imam's voice could travel to every corner without amplification, pinging through dozens of domes lining the corridors surrounding its vast courtyard.But as Thatta's importance declined after the 18th century, the mosque too fell into disrepair.Poor reconstruction work carried out in the 1970s by the federal government inflicted irreparable damage to original features including its unique auditory system."Many things were replaced during the repair work, and the replacements have ruined the original immaculate work, as well as disturbing the sound system," said Mohammad Ali Manji, principal of the Government College Thatta."No conservationist or archaeologist was consulted (for the repair) work, so its originality was badly damaged," said Qasim Ali Qasim, director of the Sindh Archaeology Department.The facade of the mosque's arched entrance was damaged during the repairs, with stones engraved with Koranic verses removed and taken to the National Museum in Karachi then dumped in a junkyard.They were retrieved earlier this year only to be installed in a replica of the mosque's arch built at the entrance to the museum, a move that enraged mosque prayer leaders who wanted them returned.Qasim said efforts are being made to drain groundwater threatening the structure of the mosque, which still draws a small number of worshippers.While fascinated tourists can be seen posing for selfies before the intricate mosaic tiles on the foot-thick walls, slowly being sundered from the red bricks beneath them by humidity.But, Qasim said, despite the mosque's unique and historic qualities, there are no plans for any further restoration of its fading splendor.
Wall Mosaic Tiles - Easily Make Any Surface Appealing!
Many home-makers and interior designers use Wall Mosaic Tiles remodeling quite extensively in the last few years. These natural panels give you the opportunity to provide your home interior and exterior the natural-yet-luxurious look you've always wanted. Tiling and remodeling surfaces at home doesn't have to be a tedious task - read more in the following review. Quick overview Wall Mosaic Tiles redecoration is created by fixing together seamless beach-stones attached onto a 12" mesh backing, thus providing that seamless desired tile. South East Asia is known for its beautiful beaches and resorts; it is not surprising to find out that most of these 'Nature-Made' panels are originated from these seashores as well. Practically, it enables you to coat any desired surface you choose: Kitchens, bathrooms and showers - walls, flooring, counters, and backsplashes. Advantages Going down to the bottom line we notice the following benefits: - Can be used on surfaces at home that have high traffic and that need to stand up to a lot of action. - Installation process is quick and takes only a few hours. - Provides unique atmosphere and contemporary look and feel to any surface. Tips to go! - Upon completion, it is important to wait the adhesive's recommended drying time before you begin on grouting. - When you prepare the grout avoid adding too much water in the initial mix - that additional water can result in weak grout that can flake. - These stone panels have their weight, so if you intend to install backsplashes use small carpenter's nails to hold the tile in place so you can easily grout it. There are probably many other advantages provided by this fun & easy coating technique simply because it provides numerous opportunities whether for the average or professional home-makers. On the bottom line This coating solution is mostly popular due to the fact that this Wall Mosaic Tiles technique requires almost no special technical knowledge on your side. For a simple and enjoyable installation process it is highly recommended to review the above advices just as you decide on using these natural panels.
Inside the Newly Renovated Htel De Crillon in Paris
Just a few days agoJuly 5, to be precise Htel de Crillon reopened its doors after four years of renovation. Work was originally estimated to only take two years, but given the restrictions around refurbishing listed sites accompanied by the magnitude of the project (including the need to dig two floors underground to accommodate the new spa and pool), things understandably took a little longer, and it was certainly worth the wait. The storied landmark was commissioned by Louis XV in 1758 and served as private residence until it was transformed into a hotel in 1909. Fast-forward to just over a century later and the property was purchased by Prince Miteb bin Abdullah bin Abdulaziz in 2010, who then shuttered the Crillon in 2013 for its much needed face lift. There was previously a lack of central air conditioning, and with 104 years of peoplealbeit upper-echelon guestswalking in and out without any sort of large-scale restoration, it was bound to lose its je ne sais quoi, if you will, just like any other historical building. In turn, no expense was spared when the ambitious task began, bringing in four Paris-based interior designers (Tristan Auer, Chahan Minassian, Cyril Vergniol and Aline Asmar dAmman) to work with talented artisans. The goal? To embrace the Crillons legacy, enhancing its 18th-century furnishings, while bringing the hotel into the 21st century. But lets get on to the good stuff. The facade is magnificent in every sense, with its French Neoclassical style, Corinthian colonnade, Coustou sculptures, and Baccarat chandeliers. Its imposing presence in the already marvelous Place de la Concorde commands your attention as you approach. Theres even a vintage 1973 Citron DS parked out front for passersby to awe at. And as youre greeted by handsomely suited men (an 80-piece wardrobe by ANDAM-nominated designer Hugo Matha was specifically commissioned for the staff) at the entrance, you already know your experience is going to be a spectacular one. There are two elements that are noticeably dominant at the Crillon: marble (represented in 40 variations) and gold. With that being said, it thankfully doesnt feel garish. Theres no doubt that the now Rosewood Hotels & Resorts managed property is opulent, but its not overly pretentious by any means. Stroll in and to your left is an intimate reception room with low tables and comfortable seats; gone are the days of formal check-ins behind a counter. To the right is Les Ambassadeurs, the former stomping grounds of the hotels gastronomic restaurant of the same name that has now been transformed to a 60-seat bar. The warm, gilded space is, of course, packed with marble and wrapped around with frescoes and rococo-style detailing. The original roofing, a registered landmark, is hidden beneath the new sky-painted ceiling, where preserved 19th-century chandeliers that have been updated with chain trimmings hang. Here, youll find the three Cs: cocktails, caviar, and champagne (over 100 options of bubbly are listed). Live piano music floats through the room in the early evenings while late nights call for a DJ. Make your way through and youll find Jardin dHiver, idealfor afternoon tea and to enjoy the delights of pastry chef Jrme Chaucesse. Walls decorated with shimmering mica panels complement the aubergine-hued chandelier lampshades and multi-directional sofa of similar color. In this lounge not only is the ceiling adorned with gold leaf and the location of the famed Baccarat crystal elephant that was created for the Paris Universal Exhibiton of 1878, but hidden behind a mirrored door is LEcrin. Sitting only 22 to 24 diners, the restaurant is helmed by Michelin-starred chef Christopher Hache, who previously oversaw the brigade at Les Ambassadeurs. During the hotels closure, he traveled around the world and worked with acclaimed chefs to diversify his flavors, keeping an open mind on how to approach French cuisine for Htel de Crillons new fine-dining establishment. LEcrin is incroyable , no doubt, but theres something to be said about the hotels more casual eatery Brasserie dAumont. Beautifully plated classics can be enjoyed indoors, where theres a very distinctive brasserie vibe along with an inviting oyster bar, or alfresco in the posh courtyard by landscape architect Louis Benech, who redesigned the Water Theater Grove at Versailles. A colorful heirloom tomato salad is accompanied by avocado sorbet and cubes of sesame-crusted watermelon that adds just the rightamount of natural sweetness to the summery plate. The chicken, perfectly roasted with no hint of dryness, is served with chicken jus and a suprme sauce made of wild celery, cream, and, of course, butter. And the apricot mille-feuille is a great way to end the meal without feeling overly indulgent. Head toward the back of the property and youll find a boutique filled with bespoke and limited-edition products by brands such as Delfina Delettrez and Noor Fares. Then theres the soothing Sense spa that opens into a shrouded garden, replete with a 14-meter sky-lit pool composed of gilded fish scaleshaped mosaic tiles and a David Lucas hair salon where a spectacular creation by Eric Charles-Donatien consisting of black and gold feathers hangs above one of the windows. And as much as this oasis is to be adored, the most pleasant surprise is the grooming salon, where men can stop in for a cut or shave or recline in a revamped Aston Martin car seat for a shoeshine. (Theres also a members-only cigar lounge should you wish to subscribe to it.) But what is it like to actually stay at the Crillon? The Signature Suites are undoubtedly the ultimate prize. The Bernstein, named after the composer who was once a frequent guest, is the largest, outfitted with a wraparound terrace that boasts incredible vistas of the Eiffel Tower and Grand Palais. Then theres the Marie-Antoinette, decorated in blush and taupe tones, with rose gold faucets and vases of pink roses scattered throughout. You can even book the suite to include the adjacent salon, which is named after the former French Queen and where she once took her piano lessons. (The neighboring Salon des Aigles witnessed the signings of the 1778 French-American treaty recognizing the Declaration of Independence as well as the 1919 covenant of the League of Nations.) And as exquisite as the aforementioned suites are, one cant talk about the Crillons accommodations without mentioning the two Grands Appartements by Karl Lagerfeld. The legendary designer was asked to contribute to the project due to his affinity for 18th-century antiques. (Funnily enough, he had even purchased a model of the Crillon at a Christies auction several decades ago.) His photographic work is displayed throughout and powder rooms in both feature a red marble fountain from the hotels original courtyard, which has now been refashioned as a sink. However, the larger of the two has a Lagerfeld-curated library and a bright bathroom with a massive tub carved out of a single block of Carrera marble, weighing in at two tons and with direct views of the Place de la Concorde. To go the extra mile, you can combine these two suites with the adjoining Choupette roomdesigned with Lagerfelds cat in mind, its the smallest in the hotel, but absolutely the cutestfor a three-bedroom flat. Extravagant suites aside, even the standard amenities throughout all 124 rooms (decreased from 147) are commendable. Beauty fanatics will thoroughly appreciate the bespoke Buly 1803 bath toiletries. Mini bars are stocked with Alain Milliat juices, La Mortuacienne lemonade, and custom-bottled Avantgarde Spirits cocktails (of note is the one marked 10, representative of the hotels address and aptly named Les Ambassadeurs). Even the Nespresso machine is encased in leather, with an accompanying Cristolfe container holding coffee pods and tea packets. Plush robes with checkered detailing on the cuffs and hood are ridiculously delightful, as are the slippers that will make your feet feel like that of a bunnys. And we cant forgetthedivine beds, enrobed withfluffy Drouault duvets and pillows that ensure a good nights rest. Needless to say, this is one of Pariss best hotels. Not just because of its head-to-toe makeover or its historic past, but because everything falls in line from the second you step in to the painstaking moment you mustdepart. An icon has truly been reborn.
Tile Ideas for a Corner Shower
Installing tiles for a corner shower presents both a challenge and an opportunity. The challenge is that the shower has a limited area that makes putting tiles difficult, and the opportunity is that there is more flexibility in the type of tiles that you can use because of the two walls that jut out into the room. Space-saver corner showers are a good match for corner sinks, but the limited space that they cover does not mean that they should look small. To make corner showers appear larger, installing very large tiles of about 2 feet in size across would surely be a good idea. The wall of the shower can have slate, ceramic and other tile materials, and the installation should just be easy. Remember to have a strong backer board so that the tiles will not crack that easily even when subjected to enormous amount of weight. Although tiles should be large, using overly large ones is not advisable because the drain position will make the installation difficult. Smaller tiles of the same color and material are good choices, in this case. To open up space in the shower, clear glass for the walls will create a wider effect and the illusion of a bigger space. The two walls facing into the room of the shower provides an opportunity for installing glass block. Build two glass-block walls coming from the two walls of the shower creating an angle. Tiles with neutral color should be used so that the glass block will be the visual focus when entering the shower. If you are after designs, you can install tiles with mosaic designs on the shower floor. These tiles can have different images and designs including animals, landscapes, people and many more. Have differently colored mosaic tiles pre-mounted on mesh-backed sheets, and then cut through the mesh to come up with your desired shapes. Hang the sections with thinset mortar, grout and seal the tiles. After that install the clear-glass interior walls so that the mosaic tiles can be seen outside the shower stall. Be sure that the tiles that you will use will seamlessly coordinate with the theme that you have chosen for your bathroom. When shopping for the tiles, be sure that you first measure the floor space that you need to cover and estimate how many tiles you need to purchase. Save yourself constant trips to the store by determining the exact number of tiles that will be required to cover your shower stall.
Water-wise and Fire-smart Gardeners Manage Their Bush Landscape to Minimise Risks
KAYE and Alan Harrison live in Hepburn Springs, deemed by fire authorities to be an extremely high-risk area. While they have taken every precaution to make their new home fire-proof, their garden, too, has come in for special attention. Lush and densely planted, it is aesthetically pleasing, highly sustainable with many beautiful plants, shrubs and old trees, but fire safety is the overriding factor. While the usual precautions have been taken - no overhanging branches on the roof, litter cleared from the base of trees, especially bark, and grass mown regularly - one thing sets this garden apart: separation. That is, flammable elements in the garden are separated from each other and the house through the use of gravel, rock edging and stone paths to prevent a fire from taking hold. Wood is kept to a minimum - even the seat is made of slate and metal - and mosaic tiles have replaced timber for ornaments. Planting, too, has been carefully considered, with trees planted away from the house and species such as tough, moisture-holding succulents used - the house is called Sedum after Mrs Harrison's favourite succulent, Sedum ''Autumn joy'' - an important part of the horticultural mix that includes salvias, iris, nepeta, verbascum, echiums and other succulents such as cotyledons and aeoniums. A member of her local fireguard group, Mrs Harrison said the choices of plants, placement and strong vertical design features adhered to fire-safety rules. The Country Fire Authority was so impressed that it is using the Harrisons' garden as a case study to help educate the public on how to landscape in bushfire-prone areas to minimise the risk of a fire reaching the house. The acting vegetation manager at fire and emergency management in Burwood, Owen Gooding, said Mrs Harrison's foresight was a valuable lesson for everyone living in fire-danger zones. The objective is to change fire behaviour around the house so it will reduce the possibility of the building igniting, Mr Gooding said. ''Statistically, that's shown to be quite achievable, and in Kaye's case, separation is the most important element. ''There's paving by the house, then walls, a series of paths, then another level of separation with a slashed, grassy edge between her and a severe fire hazard which is the gully below.'' The CFA launched its Landscaping for Bushfire manifesto at last year's Melbourne International Flower and Garden show, setting out principles from planning to garden design.
The World's Most Luxurious Hotel Pools
From rooftop to mountaintop, Los Angeles to the Aegean Sea, have a splash in these beautiful hotel pools.The pool at Udaipur's Oberoi Udavillas is overwhelmingly beautifulto the front, lush gardens and Lake Pichola; to the back, the domes and sand-colored arches of a traditional Mewari palace. Don't swim well with others? Book the Kohinoor Suite and score your own.The green-tiled infinity pool at Amandari overlooks the even-greener rice terraces in the gorge below. Gamelon players take residence in the pavilion just behind the pool at sunset, drumming you into Balinese bliss.This Chaweng Beach boutique hotel doesn't isn't one for following suit (think in-room mood lighting and suggestive room service signs), so when it came to their pool, the obvious color was anything but blue. Orange, red and yellow mosaic tiles create a fiery contrast to the Gulf of Thailand, just behind it.Waterbeds, red astroturf, and nightly dance floor DJsAndr Balazs's South Flower outpost is all loud, Los Angeles luxe. But it's relaxing tooduring the day, the pool's rooftop position affords sweeping views of the city and mountains behind it.This five-star former villa boasts a pool that's carved into the natural rock of Cap dAntibes. It's heated and saltwater, with incredible views of the Mediterranean surrounding the prestigious, 118-room resort. Want to swim in that too? Make your entrance from the hotel's overwater trapeze.See more incredible hotel pools from around the world.More from Conde Nast TravelerPrivate Islands That Cost Less Than an NYC Apartment15 Places You Wont Believe ExistThe Worlds Most Dangerous TripsThe Most Underrated American Cities
A Historical Look at the Versace Mansion
From CR Fashion BookFrom world-famous ateliers to designer hotspots, Historical Interiors is your weekly column for iconic decor, rare residential imagery, and cultural fashion landmarks.Along the tourist-ridden bars that dot South Beach's Ocean Drive towers Villa Casa Casuarina, a 23,000 square foot plot better known as the former mansion of Italian fashion designer Gianni Versace until his tragic death in 1997. Since the highly publicized murder that took place on the porous coraline front steps of the mansion, 1116 Ocean Drive has continuously garnered immense media attention, not only because of the murder, but more recently as the set of the 2018 FX true crime series The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story. As a result, the home and its story have become a taboo spectacle of the city of Miami. Black wrought-iron gates trimmed in gold enclose the premises, keeping the tourist attraction at bay while the inside is kept an untouched oasis away from the outside world. Yet, beyond the crime scene photo-op, the sheer magnitude and elaborate signature details of the property show the attention that Versace once put into restoring the historic home following its prior owners.Before Versace became the focus of fashion, the three-story villa was built in Miami in 1930 by architect Alden Freeman, the heir to an oil fortune left by his father, former treasurer of Standard Oil Co. The structure was modeled after Alczar de Coln, the oldest building in the Americas and former residence of Christopher Columbus' son. A lover of history, Freeman even brought an authentic coraline brick from Alczar de Coln that still resides at the right side of the main entrance to the mansion. The property in its heyday had a total of 24 apartments that Freeman filled with guests and friends. Approximately 130 decorative medallions were lined along the perimeter of the second story in the courtyard, all of which are still in place. The subject matter of the medallions depicts people's portraits, places, and historical events that held historical or personal significance with Freeman. He additionally commissioned Yugoslavian sculptor Vuk Vuchinich to create a statue for the home. The bronze Kneeling Aphrodite (Greek goddess of love) statue was created in 1928 and has resided in the house ever since. Freeman died at Casa Casuarina in 1937 due to prolonged illness and the house was then sold to Jacques Amsterdam for $100,000, after which he turned it into rental complex, Amsterdam Apartments. Amsterdam made a few changes to the home, including an elevator and moving the bronze statue of Aphrodite from the courtyard to the front of the home to greet guests with love. The mansion was passed through the hands of several owners and was even renamed Christopher Columbus apartments for a brief period of time.At the peak of his career in 1992, Versace was passing through Miami on the way to Cuba for vacation and began a love affair with the city from that point forward. It's reported that while on Ocean Drive, he spotted the bronze statue of Aphrodite at Casuarina's front entrance and after taking a tour, "instinctively" purchased the home in its entirety for $2.95 million. "We took a walk in South Beach, and Gianni just stopped in front of the building and said, 'I want this house,'" said Donatella, his sister, in an interview.With a blank canvas, Versace got to work.The 24-apartment structure was converted into one home with 10 rooms, a bar, a library, two kitchens, three sitting rooms, and 10 bathrooms, undergoing a whopping $32 million in renovations. He purchased the Revere Hotel that occupied the adjacent property for $3.7 million, subsequently tearing it down to make room for the garden and pool area. He worked alongside his trusted design team (Terry Scott, artist Sybil de Bourbon Parme, and Wallace Tutt), all of who he worked with on his homes in Milan and Lake Como.Inspired by Greco-Roman antiquity, Versace expressed a vision of his heritage throughout the house as he did in his designs. The mosaic garden pool where Beyonc and Jay-Z had their 2014 New Years party is made from 24-karat gold mosaic tiles inspired by Versace's Marine Vanita print seen on his silk scarfs. Milanese tiling company Fantini Mosaci designed the intricate Italian mosaics seen throughout the home, including the famous medusa face that holds center stage of the garden. As the largest medusa insignia in the home, the piece was actually crafted in Versace's home of Calabria, broken apart, and shipped to Miami.Versace welcomed friends and family alike, prescribing his close friends including Elton John and Princess Diana a specific room when they stayed at the mansion. Now called the "Mosaic suite," it's alleged that Madonna preferred this suite due to it being the only room with a sunken jacuzzi tub. Various guest rooms were situated in the wing of the home that overlooks the impressive mosaic pool.For astrology lovers, Versace installed his own rooftop observatory in the home up a narrow staircase on the third story. The ceiling of the observatory is navy blue covered in golden stars, a common motif in mosques, synagogues, and churches around the world. Glowing gold against a deep blue creates the illusion of the heavens, representing the divine realm on earth. It's reported that Drake wrote songs in the observatory, and if you stand in the center to hear the impressive acoustics, you'll see why.The second floor of the courtyard was Versace's area of the house. His personal bedroom adorned in baroque Trompe-l'il frescos by Miami-based artist Allyson Krowitz featured a drawing room attached to his apartment (now one of the hotel's restaurants). As a cheeky gesture from Versace, he placed a rare 17th century Knoll settee upholstered in Versace-print velvet in his drawing room. Historians believe the Knoll settee was created for the lady of the houses bedroom chamber, a sofa that allowed her privacy with her lover while her husband was out of town. When looking at the facade of the mansion, Versace's balcony centers directly above the main entrance, overlooking the entire front of the property onto Ocean Drive.Perhaps the most impressive of all were the suites were the ones Versace lovingly created for his family. Four suites occupy the first floor of the courtyard: the "Signature Suite" for his older brother Santo, the "Azure suite" in powder blue for his nephew Daniel, the "Aviary suite" for his niece Allegra's love of birds, and the "Venus suite" for his beloved sister Donatella.As his muse, Donatella received the grandest room of the mansion. Occupying 1,500 square feet of the mansion, Donatella's room features the only double balcony that directly overlooks the mosaic garden from the main wing. Four sprawling Biedermeier-style closets are concealed and embedded into the walls of the bedroom. The ceiling, coated in a bed of gilded white roses, was painted on canvas in Milan by Fontana Decorazioni and shipped to Miami especially for her room.Versace's presence in the community blended high fashion and the beach town for the first time. Versace influenced South Beach, and in turn, South Beach influenced Versace. He even named his Spring/Summer 1992 collection South Beach, followed in 1993 by his coffee table book South Beach Stories, photographed by Doug Ordway.In 1997, Versace was fatally shot on the front steps of the mansion. The house sat empty for around three years until it was purchased by American entrepreneur Peter Loftin in 2000 for $19 million and used as a members-only club. After filing for bankruptcy in 2013, it was bought at auction for a $41.5 million cash deal with VM South Beach, LLC and turned into a boutique hotel. Though the Versace family took many of the signature relics of the house after Versace's passing, most of the original interior is still intact. The hotel group reproduced furniture and touched up aspects of the rooms based on archival photos to replicate Versace's home as close as possible to the original.Looking past the lore and legend that lies on the outside steps, a piece of Versace's impressive legacy resides in the home as a structural representation of his adoration for the people and places closest to him. Versace's work as a designer was special because it was cut from the same fabric he was. We'll never know the real stories that took place in the home, but between the frescos and celebrities, these walls can pretty much speak for themselves.
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