The History of Mosaic Art

photo of a multi-colored mosaic in a starburst pattern There is something incredibly satisfying about a piece of mosaic art.

Combining hundreds of seemingly bland fragments of glass, clay and pottery in order to create a beautiful garden accessory is not only a way to re-purpose old objects, but can also add an element of elegance and architectural flare to an organic environment.

But despite the relatively modern and folksy feel of the art form, the history of mosaic art actually dates back over 4,000 years, when terracotta cones were first pushed into various backgrounds for decorative purposes.

Since then, multiple cultures have put their own twist on the craft.  By 400 B.C.E., the Greeks had incorporated the mosaic art form into a practical way to enhance the public road system, and only 200 years later, specifically manufactured pieces called “tesserae” were produced, which allowed artists to start creating even more detailed work with a wider variety of colors and tighter patterns.

Today, the mosaic is still considered an art form of dual functionality.  Masterpieces adorn the walls of soaring European cathedrals, but the craft has an equally important function as the foundation for simple kitchen tile patterns, or the extra little flourish in an outdoor garden.

So if you’re in the need for an aesthetic change-up, try your hand at crafting your own mosaic masterpiece, or stop in to take a look at our selection of beautiful tiled accessories that will bring a bit of color and history to your space.

Make Walls Come Alive with Urban Metallic Wallpaper

When it comes to wallpaper, there’s an infinite supply of patterns, colors and textures to choose from. This new Urban Metallic collection by Carnegie Fabrics can now be added to the list. We found these wall coverings on Design Milk.

The Midas pattern is sure to add sparkle to any space. At first glance, this pattern would be fitting in either a bathroom or a dining room that often accomodates lots of guests.

Midas wallpaper pattern
Photo Credit: Design Milk

This deeper, more serious bubble pattern is known as Helics. The darkness of this print is appropriate for a quiet room like an office. It might also work for a dining area where quiet meals are held.

Helics wallpaper pattern
Photo Credit: Design MilkThe Glint pattern, a wall of endless colorful stripes, gives off a light, happy aura. This is perfect for a kitchen. Photo Credit: Design Milk

Which of these three wallpaper patterns do you like the most? Leave a comment and let us know!

Wallpaper That You Can Reach Out and Touch

While Marvin Gardens’ style of décor is more on the traditional side, we’re always interested in finding out more about the latest innovative design trends out there, even contemporary ones.

A new wallpaper concept from Ilias Fotopoulos really caught our attention. Using felt dots to create words in over-sized Braille, Fotopoulos creates patters that are illustrative and imaginative.

From Apartment Therapy:

Oversize braille! The concept from Ilias Fotopoulos is a rather unique one and for those that still have their sight, it doesn’t too shabby either. For those without, the idea of standing on a ladder to run your hand over all of it seems a bit perplexing, but none the less, it’s an interesting way to design a surface.

Photo Credit: Apartment Therapy

New Julia Rothman Patterns

They’re here! Julia Rothman’s latest collection of patterns have been unveiled this month! The Brooklyn-based illustrator and pattern designer has become recognized for her light and fun, whimsical patterns and is a fixture at a number of hip boutiques and retailers like Urban Outfitters and Hygge & West.  Her illustrations have even appeared in The New York Times, Details magazine and on a line of puzzles for Kid O. If you haven’t had a chance already to take a look at her designs, please do! They’re fun and can be used for a variety of projects. The possibilities are endless!

Visit Julia Rothman to learn more about her work.

Photo Credit: Julia Rothman