Boka Restaurant Chicago–Revamped with Cement Tile

Recently renovated BOKA Restaurant has reopened to an avalanche of praise, including “Restaurant of the Year“, and “Chef of the Year” for new partner and executive chef Lee Wolen. While we read that the food is divine, critics also rave about the new decor, which features fabulous Ikat pattern cement tiles from Villa Lagoon Tile.

Boka Restaurant Chicago, featuring Ikat cement tile from Villa Lagoon Tile

Boka closed for months to undergo a stunning remodel and menu revamp under new partner and executive chef Lee Wolen. Under Wolen’s expert care, Boka managed to maintain its Michelin star rating. This new remodel features dark woods, black leather, a living wall, and antique artwork and of course our Ikat pattern cement tiles in all four patterns.

Boka Restaurant Chicago, featuring Ikat cement tile from Villa Lagoon Tile

In 10 years, Kevin Boehm and Rob Katz, of Boka Restaurant Group, have gone from being fledgling restaurateurs to being the Chicago restaurateurs everyone wants to work for. The Boka name is derived from the first letters of the restaurateurs’ last names.

The entrance area (below) is covered in our Ikat “D” .

Boka Restaurant Chicago, featuring Ikat cement tile from Villa Lagoon Tile

The far wall that looks a bit like bricks is really covered in old door hardware. Look closely.
Boka Restaurant Chicago, wall.

 The whole space has a “cool” vibe befitting its “be-seen” crowd


They … transformed Boka’s forgettable decor into a dark and bustling adult playground

Chicago Magazine

The new look exudes class with a bit of romance and occasional quirk

Michelin Guide

“Restaurant of the Year” from Jean Banchet Awards for Culinary Excellence (2014)

“Chef of the Year” from Eater (2014), the Jean Banchet Awards (2014), and the Chicago Tribune (2015).

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. 

White Bathrooms with Beautiful Floors

A white bathroom, accented by "Ambrose" blue-and-white cement tile by Villa Lagoon Tile.

While we are lovers of vivid colored walls, not everyone is, especially in the USA. But a white bathroom need not be boring if the floor is singing a happy tune. The pattern above is one we call “Ambrose” and our client ordered it in a crisp blue and white.

Below is a custom tile called Italian Trellis “Azul” from our Coastal Collection. You can click for a larger image to see the details of the seashells and coral. The soft blues and white walls give the effect of shimmering water on a bright day.

Villa Lagoon Tile's original "Venetian Azul" cement tile brings a white bathroom to life.

Villa Lagoon Tile's exclusive "Surf Agua" cement tile, paired with subway tiles in a white bathroom.

One of our classic favorites above, Surf “Agua”  with white subway tile walls in this bathroom. A great pattern with movement…jazzy and fun. Click to see the full size image.

A beautiful bathroom renovation with cement tile from Villa Lagoon Tile.

A client with a home in the Bahamas chose 2 tiles for the bathrooms. (Note: construction photo) This one has a round shower area shown below.  If you think there is a trend of blue cement tile bathroom floors, you are right. This pattern is called “Liz” and it is made with two shades of blue plus white.

A beautiful transition from Villa Lagoon Tile's cement tile to a shower floor in the Bahamas.

A custom cement tile floor, from Villa Lagoon Tile, in a Bahamian white bathroom.

Our delightful client, jewelry designer Trish Becker, used a 2 color Aqua and Blanc pattern tile of interlocking rings in one of her homes in the Bahamas. Trish is ‘hooked’ on cement tile and knows how much character it adds to any room it is installed in. She has a couple of vacation homes and she knows that when people rent a cottage for a beach vacation they appreciate decor which makes the stay really special.

Custom cement tile from Villa Lagoon Tile, paired with a clawfoot tub for a beautiful bathroom.

Still a bit of blue in this delightful floral cement tile but also the warm golds above and below.


The owner added bright blue glass drawer knobs which was such a great idea.

Beautiful blue and gray cement tile from Villa Lagoon Tile accents this white bathroom.

In the above photo the cement tile bathroom floor appears a bit blue in this photo but it may have been a shade of gray with the white. On the upper right you can catch a glimpse of the rug effect repeated around the toilet in an alcove. Using cement tile to create rug or bordered carpet effect is an old tradition.


Yet another all white bathroom (above) , this time with a Cuban Heritage Tile floor, CH-260-2B.

La Espanola cement tile from Villa Lagoon Tile, with a clawfoot tub, in a white bathroom.

This last photo is our popular LaEspanola cement tile in an otherwise white bathroom. Even though this is a photo taken during construction, the combination of a clawfoot tub and our cement tile with classic Spanish scroll-work looks like it could be a bathroom in Barcelona as easily as in Florida.

A lively cement tile floor to accent your all-white bathroom can “bring it up a notch” on the cool scale. Click here to see this tile in an all white kitchen. 

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

Stunning Cement Tile in Tone-on-Tone Gray

“Nuevo Castillo” encaustic cement tile lives up to its name turning homes into personal castles. It certainly adds elegance to living spaces throughout North America and UK. This tone-on-tone colorway is one of our best-selling and most-imitated products.

Last week we received photos of a new elegant bathroom from one of our happy clients in Atlanta. The soft two-tone gray cement tile adds depth, without overwhelming the beautifully simple white and wood decor.

Nuevo Castillo encaustic cement tile Atlanta bathroom installation. By Villa Lagoon Tile.

This lovely bathroom with lots of natural light would be a delight every morning to help me face my day !

Nuevo Castillo encaustic cement tile Atlanta bathroom installation. By Villa Lagoon Tile.

Nuevo Castillo encaustic cement tile Atlanta bathroom installation. By Villa Lagoon Tile.

In the next Villa Lagoon Tile installation (below), one of our Hong Kong clients used Nuevo Castillo cement tile in her kitchen and was kind enough to send photos.

Nuevo Castillo encaustic cement tile Hong Kong kitchen installation. By Villa Lagoon Tile.

Peterssen / Keller Architecture – Minneapolis used our Nuevo Castillo stock cement tile in a sun-room (below) which proved to be a hit with everyone who saw it in the newspaper “Living” section and online.

Nuevo Castillo encaustic cement tile sunroom installation. By Villa Lagoon Tile.

California client took the Nuevo Castillo one step further, adding depth with a custom cement tile production using 5 shades of gray !! This tile, with matching borders produced a striking foyer (below).

Nuevo Castillo encaustic cement tile foyer installation. By Villa Lagoon Tile.

Black and White and Cool All Over

Maybe it stems from newspapers which are often read in both rooms, or maybe it comes from historical roots, or maybe it is so all colors of accessories look bright and cheerful; but no matter the reason, black, white and sometimes with shades of gray is a popular combination for cement tile floors in kitchens and baths. A popular choice is our Cubes pattern because it is both age-old classic and edgy modern… crisp and clean.
Cubes cement tile floor in a modern contemporary  kitchen in New YorkCubes encaustic tile in a modern NYC kitchen



Villa Lagoon Tile Cubes cement tile in a bathroomnandos-peri-peri-cement-tile-VLT

Black and white stripe tile in a restaurant bathroom in the Washington DC area above

phillip-sides-ikat-tile-backsplash-VLTPhillip Sides used our black and white Ikat tile (above) for this kitchen backsplash.

stanley-matz-kitchen-VLTLandscape designer Stany Matz chose a black and white striped tile which forms a alternate reverse square-in-square pattern for his Miami, Florida kitchen.



This photo and the one below show our Large Cubes pattern tile in a Brooklyn, NY townhouse renovation. tamara-big-harlequin-bathroom-VLT

Patchwork Tile–The Perfect Mix for a Showhome

Designer Chris Grandmontagne used our Colorful Patchwork encaustic cement tile in her kitchen/family/breakfast great room renovation in the 2013 Topeka Designers’ Show House. Our cement tile went above the stove and to line the bookcases on either side of the fireplace to great effect. In the large kitchen area and family room the Patchwork does not overwhelm but adds just the right amount of cheerfulness without becoming the dominant element of the decor.

Patchwork cement tile backsplash
The niche above the stove has the Patchwork Cement Tile backsplash.
Cement tile backsplash in a niche above the stove
Spacious kitchen in the designer show house in Topeka, Kansas.

We love how Chris used our tile also in the family room area as a background to the built-in custom shelves on either side of the fireplace. Below is a construction photo followed by the completed project.

Encaustic cement tile in the back of custom shelves on either side of a brick fireplace.
Construction photo of the patchwork cement tile going into the back of the custom shelves.
After photo of the family room area
Photo of the family room area
Built in shelves with colorful patchwork tile as a back feature
Family room shelving with Villa Lagoon Tile Colorful Patchwork Tile
family breakfast area in designer show house
Family breakfast room in designer show house with gorgeous deep aqua Fiberglas chairs
Long dining table in a screen porch connected to the family room
Outdoor dining in enclosed screen porch which connects to the family room and kitchen
Topeka Kansas Designer Show Home 2013
Topeka Kansas Designer Show House 2013

Thanks to  designer Chris Grandmontagne …(Don’t you just love that name ??)
of Grandmontagne Designs and Warehouse 414 414 SE 2nd St., Topeka, Ks. 66607
and Stephen Smith Images, 931 Studios, 931 Kansas Ave., Topeka, KS.

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