Intelligentsia Design With Cement Tile

Intelligentsia_logoChicago’s Logan Square is now home to one of Intelligentsia Coffee’s coffee bars. A low bar with stools sits in the middle of the shop surrounded by Villa Lagoon Tile’s “Nuevo Castillo” cement tile. It has sparse white, angular booths in front of the windows.

They did something very unusual with this tile installation !!

The traditional method of installation is to rotate each tile 90 degrees as it is set, this forms an interlocking pattern of a repeat design. In this instance, the designers chose to just have the tile laid randomly.

Standard versus Random Layout:

Nuevo Castillo cement tile from Villa Lagoon Tile

Nuevo Castillo cement tile from Villa Lagoon Tile

The effect is a fresh look at Nuevo Castillo cement tile.





The back wall is covered with a stylized map of the surrounding Chicago neighborhood. The mural’s graphics echo the gray-on-gray pattern of the randomly-laid Nuevo Castillo pattern cement tile. We love what designers and architects can do with their creativity and our patterns.  

See photos of the traditional layout of this tile here. 

Colors Dance at Gypsy Kitchen – Atlanta Buckhead

Villa Lagoon Tile takes the lead in the interplay of color at one of north Atlanta’s newest trendy eating establishments.  The architects and designers used our custom encaustic cement tile in vibrant colors to create pretty entrance and a playful mood inside.

Gypsy Kitchen in Atlanta, with cement tile from Villa Lagoon Tile

No one can miss the massive steel bull dashing through the field of the bar’s supplies.Gypsy Kitchen in Atlanta, with cement tile on the bar, from Villa Lagoon Tile

The face of the Gypsy Kitchen bar is one of our custom Moroccan tiles. Morocco is just a stone’s throw from Spain and both countries have extensive Moorish architecture and tiles like this classic pattern. Gypsy Kitchen in Atlanta, with cement tile wainscotting from Villa Lagoon Tile

Dishes like this octopus reflect Gypsy Kitchen’s Mediterranean theme.

An octopus dish from Gypsy Kitchen, Atlanta, with a background of "Circulos" cement tile from Villa Lagoon Tile

Gypsy Kitchen in Atlanta, with "Circulos" cement tile from Villa Lagoon Tile

One of the eight patterns used in Gypsy Kitchen is our popular Circulos pattern. Gypsy Kitchen, Atlanta, with accents of cement tile from Villa Lagoon Tile.

The area around the open kitchen has wall panels of an intricate polychrome tile in deep rich tones. This particular pattern can take on so many different looks depending on color placement. The freedom that one has with cement tiles is a huge part of the great appeal with architects and designers.An accent wall in Gypsy Kitchen, Atlanta, featuring "Vienna" cement tile from Villa Lagoon Tile.

Gypsy-T9Gypsy-T11Gypsy-T13T-8 revised tile

Cement Tile Brings France to the Concourse

Travelers through Washington Dulles International Airport will find a new and unusual option at Terminal D.  Bistro Atelier brings a taste of French fine dining to travel-weary passengers during their layovers.

Cement Tile bar face at Bistro Atelier

Successful restaurant entrepreneur Hakan Ilhan, is no stranger to the difficulties of running an airport eatery.  Several of his 25 DC-area restaurants are located in the city’s two major airports.  Ilhan’s first area business was a TCBY yogurt franchise at Ronald Reagan National Airport, in 1997.  With this project, he paired with Executive Chef John Lewitt to raise the bar of airport dining.


Dinners love the quality and variety of the food… there are not very many places in the world where one can grab a bite of escargot between flights!


It was our pleasure to work with Carlos Moreno and Matt Norris of Norris Design Studio on this project. It’s so gratifying to see images like these of a beautifully completed project. The cement tile featured in this project was “Tulips Sebring” (formerly known as “Roseton”), often available for in-stock, but always available for direct-production.


And They’re Off! Villa Lagoon Tile at Hong Kong Jockey Club

The  historical Hong Kong Jockey Club chose Villa Lagoon Tile for the recently opened Hay Market Restaurant. Both tables and floors in several parts of this large open-plan restaurant have our custom encaustic cement tiles.


The Hong Kong Jockey Club founded in 1884 provides dining, social, sport and recreation facilities to its approximately 23,000 members. The HKJC conducts hundreds of horse races per year which can be viewed from the Hay Market Restaurant’s double-height floor to ceiling glass façade giving a view of the Sha Tin racecourse.

Designed by Joyce Wang, Hay Market Restaurant  fuses English style with tasteful modernism to create an all-inclusive, open-minded venue that bustles with the dashing vibes of a lively English establishment. The large restaurant brings a taste of rustic England to Hong Kong’s Sha Tin Racecourse.


Wang made the fun choice to tile the tabletops at the Hay Market. We shipped the table tiles to the furniture manufacturer and the floor tiles went directly to the job-site in Hong Kong. Most of the tiles have neutral colors and the sharp black and white patterns in the tabletops add an edge of modernism.



Let Villa Lagoon Tile make custom tile for your next restaurant project !!


A Toronto Icon Expands With Custom Cement Tile

The street sign of "Drake One Fifty" in Toronto, Canada.The Drake Hotel has become a cultural hotspot of Toronto, known for art, music, and a fun atmosphere. When they decided to expand, they turned to the London office of the Martin Brudnizki Design Studio to define the look of “Drake One Fifty” (named for its location at 150 York Street). In March, Zagat listed it among “Toronto’s 10 Hottest Restaurants“, applauding Brudnizki’s work as, “a beautifully designed space with plenty of eye candy“.

The fun dining room of the Drake One Fifty, tied together with a custom cement tile floor.

This project shows the great flexibility of cement tile to help bring a designer’s vision to fruition. It’s very common to create custom pattern molds for clients, whether reproducing historic patterns, bringing new designs to life, or tweaking existing designs to taste. In this case, we were able to go a step beyond, and had our Moroccan facility create two brand new shapes. First, an elongated hexagonal shape mold was created, then a matching triangular mold was created to form the keys of the layout pattern.

A photo shot on the factory floor in Morocco, showing several of the custom hexagonal and triangular cement tiles in their final arrangement.
An image sent from the factory floor in Morocco.

For those interested in the production of cement tile, here are several images showing one of our master artisans creating the custom hex tile.

Cement tile production. The Artisan is clamping the custom hexagonal shape mold to the mold's base.
Mold Assembly
Cement tile production. The Moroccan artisan is inserting the cement tile pattern mold into the shape mold.
Insert Pattern Mold
Cement tile production. The artisan is pouring the color layer of wet cement into the mold. One region will be filled with white pigment, the other with black.
Pour Color Layer
Cement tile production. The pattern mold is removed, showing the wet color layer of the black and white tile.
Remove Pattern Mold
Cement tile production. dry cement is sifted into the mold on top of the color layer, the tile is constructed with the surface down.
Add Body-Layer Cement
Cement tile production. The artisan levels the cement in the mold with a straight edge.
Cement tile production. The artisan places a cap that fits snug into the mold, before putting the mold into the hydraulic press to compact the cement into a tile.
Cover and Press
One of our Moroccan master artisans displaying a freshly-pressed custom hexagonal tile. The elongated hex is black and white, in two color regions bisecting the hexagon along a line between the most distant points.
Displaying the Tile

Simply put, Drake One Fifty’s interior is near-perfection…

View the Vibe


A portion of the marble bar and custom cement tile floor of the Drake One Fifty.

With the Drake One Fifty, Toronto can now claim to have one of the coolest restaurants in the world.

Le Travelist

The dining room of the Drake One Fifty in Toronto, Canada, with an emphasis on the custom cement tile floor.

…a bit of Queen West style and culture plunked down in the middle of Toronto’s financial district.

Post City

The dining room of Drake One Fifty, with Green leather chairs, red leather booths, and black, white, and gray custom cement tile floors.

In the process of creating this solution, we proposed several variations of this Venetian mosaic theme in standard square and hexagonal formats. We loved them all so much, we produced one of them with our Venetian Collection, 8″ Treviso. 8″ square cement tile is the most economical format, and this smaller scale is more suitable to residential surfaces.

A layout of nine Treviso pattern tiles, 8
8″ Treviso, In-Stock

Can Cement Tile Give You Wings?

A logo of a stylized iguana with wings, representing the Flying Iguana Taqueria & Tequila Bar of Neptune Beach, FLThere’s a new restaurant in the Jacksonville, Florida area receiving a lot of attention. Flying Iguana Taqueria & Tequila Bar of Neptune Beach has opened to rave reviews. Chef Joshua Agan and his staff serve a fun and inspired menu that is Latin American fusion with hints of the local Southeast.  Along with traditional Latin American flavors, you can also find items like the “Dirty South” taco, with fried green tomatoes and pimento cheese, or the “Southern Comfort” taco with fried chicken, slaw, and pickled okra.

Click for larger images…

The designers of the Flying Iguana developed a stunning, eye-catching facade using our exclusive Tradewinds pattern, from the Caribbean Collection.  Together with the interesting wood trellis holding the signage, this is a restaurant that cannot be missed. Decorative cement tile for external walls have long been popular south of the border, but we’ve seen more and more installations in the United States recently. This may be in large part due to the advances in sealant technology, which can preserve the vibrant patterns from the elements.

Click for larger images…

In the dining room, the designers chose to use a large area of patchwork cement tile on the floor, and as a backdrop for the bandstand. They used a combination of our pre-selected patchwork tile at the time, and supplemented with other in-stock patterns to custom-tailor the blend of colors they were seeking. Not only is decorative cement tile a strong enough visual draw to use as an accent wall, it is durable enough for busy restaurant floors. Modern sealants help preserve the the appearance over time, and provide better anti-slip characteristics than original wax techniques.

Miss Jacksonville USA 2015, Sarah Rogers, in a photo-shoot against a wall of patchwork tile from Villa Lagoon Tile.
Miss Jacksonville USA 2015, Sarah Rogers

Our tile is featured in the April 2014 issue of The Void, a monthly magazine exploring the lifestyle of coastal North Florida. The Flying Iguana was the location for a photo-shoot with Miss Jacksonville USA 2015, Sarah Rogers, a hopeful for Miss Florida USA. We noticed they couldn’t help but choose some of the vertical Villa Lagoon Tile installations as backdrops.

Click for larger images…

Our decorative cement tiles can also be seen in large installations in the restrooms. The designers chose our Torino cement tile for the ladies’ room, and Fiore cement tile for the men’s room. Note that the Fiore image is a construction photo, taken before the application of grout and final sealant.

If you find yourself near Jacksonville, Florida, everyone is saying that the Flying Iguana is a worthwhile stop, both for the amazing food, and the inviting atmosphere.

“Best of 2013” Design Award, a Cement Tile Win.

Interior Design magazine has chosen the “Best of the Year” for 2013, and we’d like to congratulate our client, Meyer Davis Studio for winning “Best of the Year 2013: Fine Dining“. Their project “Harlow” remodeled a historic space once the private entertainment venue of William Randolph Hurst. Perhaps as much a restoration as a renovation, the Harlow project brought the best of the 1930’s grandeur forward to the modern day.

The award-winning design features some of Villa Lagoon Tile’s most popular designs in several places.  “Lantern Trellis” and “Cubes” can be found in the elegant restrooms, as well as a larger version of Cubes in a conservatory dining annex, that gained a mention in Interior Design’s original project article, “Blond Ambition“.  This installation in particular shows cement tile’s versatility, using solid and two-color tile to provide a larger scale of Cubes design.

Salamanca cement tile in Ladies room of Harlow, NYC.
Lantern Trellis Cement Tile Installation
Cubes cement tile in Men's room of Harlow, NYC.
Cubes Cement Tile Installation
Large-Scale Cubes in Dining Area
Large-Scale Cubes in Dining Area

Large-Scale Cubes cement tile in Harlow, NYC.

While our ever-popular “Cubes” cement tile was used in the stately-men’s room, a different feel was desired for this dining area.  A larger patterned is achieved by the creative arrangement of the simplest tiles in our toolkit: solids, and the two-color diagonal. This layout also shows how easily a designer could use cement tile to create grand, custom chevron patterns.

A 9x6 layout of cement tile, resembling an enlarged Cubes pattern tile.
Large-Scale cubes using Monterey Collection “Diagonal” and single-color tiles.

The writers of Interior Design are not the only ones taking a notice to the renewed luster of this Midtown Manhattan jewel…  Harlow is quickly being recognized as a great experience, and has already been the venue for parties hosted by Madonna, Woody Allen, and others in the New York social scene.

Update April 27, 2016: Unfortunately Harlow has closed. Their original site can still be found in the Internet Archive.

The flame that burns twice as bright burns half as long. –Laozi

Seductive Cement Setting brings Success!

We’d like to give kudos to our friends at Maneli Wilson Interiors for rave reviews of their recent work, featuring our cement tile pattern, Cubes. Sotto 13 opened in November as a runaway hit in New York’s West Village. This new darling destination of the local critics features Italian tapas, brick-oven pizzas, and cocktails by acclaimed mixologist Frankie Oley, but few can help but comment on the amazing decor.

"Cubes" cement tile as a wall covering in the dining room of Sotto 13, in New York.

Our Cubes pattern was used on the wall surrounding the kitchen’s window… a focal point for the flow of food through the restaurant. We also couldn’t help but spot an ingenious use for some of the left-over tiles: they are framed within the side of the hostess stand. On your next project you may consider ordering a little extra… finishing touches like these can really help tie a theme together.


Cement Tile brilliantly built into furniture; framed in the sidewall of the Hostess Stand


In-Stock "Cubes" Tile
In-Stock “Cubes” Tile

Among the mountains of praise, Jones Magazine proclaims that Sotto 13 “offers rustic decor with a modern twist and perfect ambiance.” CBS New York touts Sotto 13 as “perfect for a West Village date night,” and NewForkCity says “it’s the decor that brings you in”, but the food that brings you back. What more can a restaurateur want from their decor than to provide the perfect, inviting setting to showcase their craft? Perhaps a mention by one of the largest travel magazines in the country?

Not only has Sotto 13 earned a mention by Travel + Leisure Magazine, their grand entrance to the scene has placed them among “America’s Most Romantic Restaurants”. Writing for, Brendan Spiegel cites Sotto 13’s “alluring space” among the attributes that landed it so high on the list.

No matter what your project, we’re sure our Villa Lagoon Tile, hand-made cement tile can provide a warmth and sophistication that can perfectly accent any vision.

Take a look at just a few other restaurant installations:

Cement Tile in Restaurants

February 12, 2013.


Our Cuban Tile Finds a Home in FL’s Oldest Restaurant


Columbia Restaurant, …Founded in 1905 by Cuban immigrant Casimiro Hernandez, Sr., the Columbia Restaurant is Florida’s oldest restaurant, and the largest Spanish restaurant in the world. They began in Tampa’s Ybor City, (pronounced EE-bore) as a small 60-seat corner café known for its Cuban coffee and authentic Cuban sandwiches, frequented by the local cigar workers. Now the family has locations in 8 locations and they are hugely popular with both locals and tourists. Villa Lagoon Tile is happy they picked us to provide the Cuban Tile for the St. Augustine location. 


Notice how the large room’s floor  is divided into sections w/ our single color Deep Henna tiles.  This adds additional character and is also an economical move. Single color Cuban tiles cost less than pattern tiles.

So pleeeeesed is the Columbia Restaurant with our tile that they have just ordered the same pattern Cuban tile for the Celebration , FL location.