What Are Delft Tiles? A Deep Dive into Their History and Modern Revival

What Are Delft Tiles? A Deep Dive into Their History and Modern Revival

When you think of classic European artistry, one of the most iconic images that may come to mind is that of Delft Tiles. These beautifully hand-painted tiles have a rich history and continue to be cherished for their timeless appeal. Originating in the Netherlands, Delft tiles have evolved from their humble beginnings to become a coveted decorative element in homes around the world. But what exactly are Delft tiles, and how have they inspired modern designs? Let's explore the fascinating journey of these tiles and how they can enhance your home with their unique charm.

Akka Home Hand Painted Delft Tiles

The Origins of Delft Tiles

Delft tiles date back to the 16th century, named after the Dutch town of Delft where they were first produced. These tiles were heavily influenced by Chinese porcelain, which was highly popular in Europe at the time. Dutch artisans began creating their own versions, using local clay and a tin-glazed technique to achieve the characteristic white surface that served as the perfect canvas for intricate blue designs.

The blue and white colour scheme became a defining feature of Delft tiles. Artisans painted various scenes on these tiles, from pastoral landscapes and sea scenes to floral patterns and biblical stories. Each tile was a small piece of art, reflecting the culture and stories of the time.

The Craftsmanship Behind Delft Tiles

Creating a Delft tile was, and still is, a meticulous process. Artisans start with a clay base, shaping and firing it to form a durable tile. After the first firing, the tile is coated with a tin glaze, giving it a brilliant white surface. This is where the magic happens: skilled painters use cobalt oxide to paint intricate designs by hand. The tiles are then fired again, causing the cobalt to turn a beautiful shade of blue and the glaze to melt and form a glassy surface.

The result is a stunning blue and white tile, each one unique due to the hand-painted nature of its creation. This painstaking process ensures that every tile tells its own story, a testament to the artistry and dedication of the craftsmen.

Delft Tiles Today: A Modern Take on a Classic

While traditional Delft tiles hold a special place in the world of ceramics, contemporary artists and designers have reimagined these classics to suit modern tastes and interiors. Our collection of narrative, hand-painted tiles brings a fresh perspective to this age-old craft. Based in Sydney, Australia, our skilled artisans create each tile with the same dedication and attention to detail as the Dutch masters of the past.

Our modern take on Delft tiles at Akka Home goes beyond the traditional blue and white palette. While we honor the classic designs, we also experiment with new colors and motifs, making our tiles perfect for both traditional and contemporary settings. Whether you are looking for floor tiles or wall tiles, our range offers something for everyone.

Akka Home Hand Painted Delft Tile Styling Flat Lay

Why Choose Hand-Painted Tiles?

There is something inherently special about hand-painted tiles. Unlike mass-produced tiles, each piece is crafted with care and precision, ensuring a level of quality and uniqueness that machine-made tiles simply cannot match. Hand-painted tiles can add a touch of individuality and artistry to any space, making them an excellent choice for homeowners looking to create a distinctive and personalized environment.

Versatility of Delft Tiles in Modern Interiors

Delft tiles are incredibly versatile and can be used in various settings around the home. Here are a few ideas:

  • Kitchen Backsplashes: Add a touch of classic elegance to your kitchen with a backsplash made of Delft tiles. The intricate designs and vibrant colors can transform your cooking space into a work of art.
  • Bathroom Decor: Use Delft tiles to create stunning feature walls or decorative accents in your bathroom. The water-resistant properties of glazed tiles make them perfect for wet areas.
  • Fireplace Surrounds: Create a cozy and stylish focal point in your living room with Delft tiles around your fireplace. The blue and white designs can complement both modern and traditional decor.
  • Flooring: For a truly unique look, consider using Delft tiles as floor tiles in entryways or small rooms. The durable nature of these tiles ensures they can withstand daily wear and tear while maintaining their beauty.

Bringing Delft Tiles into Your Home

One of the most exciting aspects of the Delft tiles we create at Akka Home is the ability to mix and match motifs to create a personalized narrative that reflects your individual or family story. Each tile in our collection can be customized, allowing you to commission unique designs that capture your memories, values, and heritage. Whether you want to commemorate a special event, highlight your cultural background, or simply add a personal touch to your home decor, our artisans can bring your vision to life. Imagine a kitchen backsplash adorned with tiles depicting your family's favourite flowers, or a bathroom wall that tells the tale of your travels through intricately painted scenes. With our custom Delft tiles, the possibilities are endless, ensuring that your home is as unique and special as the stories you cherish.


Delft tiles are more than just decorative elements; they are pieces of history and art that bring a touch of elegance and tradition to any space. By choosing hand-painted tiles, you not only honor the craftsmanship of the past but also bring a unique and personalized touch to your home. Explore our collection of modern Delft tiles and discover how these timeless pieces can enhance your living spaces with their beauty and charm.

Transform your home with the timelessness of hand-painted Delft tiles, and tell your story one tile at a time.

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