I recently stayed the the newly opened Chicago Athletic Association Hotel in Chicago (a Roman and Williams design). Upon walking in the door, I was completely mesmerized by the original mosaics on the floor. They were breathtaking; great colors, bold patterns, exquisite execution. And, they were in perfect condition. I realized that I have photographed great mosaics in various places over time and thought I would inspire you with a look back at some of my favorites.

It seems that the tide has turned from creating mosaics with tiny pieces of stone or glass to larger-scale patterns that have been cut with waterjet machines. A waterjet machine, a computerized industrial tool, can make precise, repetitive cuts using a high-pressure water stream with abrasives. First used in the automobile industry, this C and C machine is very fast and can be programmed to maximize the material usage. Although the waterjet mosaics are beautiful, what is missing is the hand of the artist who assembles small piece of stone into unique artisnal art patterns and pictures.

Where should you install mosaics? Truthfully, anywhere! But certainly they make fabulous bath floors and walls, and look great in foyers (particularly large-scale designs), mud rooms, pool houses or backsplashes. They are elegant, inspiring, sophisticated, adaptable and great partners to many other materials. They can be colorful (as you can see from the vintage ones in the post), or neutral with merely a dash of color, and will always stand the test of time.

I hope the posted images will inspire a design direction for a new project or encourage you to be on the lookout for more great images that you can share on Pinterest, Instagram or with me.


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