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Worldly Walls

New tile designs from Ann Sacks draw from a range of popular styles, regions and periods—then overlay the line’s signature boldness.

The Ermanno gold and white tiles by Ann Sacks evoke Erté (1892-1990), regarded by many as the father of art deco. 


Portland-based Ann Sacks, the prestigious tile division of Kohler, puts forth three new collections this fall—Context, Ermanno and Paire. Context (from $17 per square foot) summons the company’s predilection for handcrafted artistry with multiple-length tiles made by artisans in Japan’s ceramic capital, Tijimi. Glazed to capture and reflect light, the elongated herringbone tiles, ideal for kitchens and bathrooms, have a hue-shifting effect that makes them appear multidimensional. “Context is a great choice for anyone who loves the idea of subway tiles, but wants something different and fresh,” says DeeDee Gundberg, director of product development and design. “The palette ranges from bright white to deep rich blues to metallic black, making Context a versatile option for a variety of interiors.” Choose from various lengths and seven colors—such as jasper, a peacocklike green with a sheen that changes with the light from teal to cobalt blue.
Exclusive to Ann Sacks in the U.S., Ermanno (from $30 per square foot) is crafted in Italy. Art deco-inspired, the tiles “capitalize on two major trends in interiors: graphic patterning and porcelain flooring,” Gundberg notes. A stellar option for grand residential and commercial locales, Ermanno features intricate, two-shade repeat designs—such as Pavone, with its featherlike arcs in gold on white. Finally, showcasing the enlivening effect of brass in interiors, Paire (from $20 per square foot) utilizes the burnished metal in elegant, inlaid design motifs that suggest a burst of pure energy. “Brass blends beautifully with stone, so this pairing was a natural for us,” Gundberg says. Select from three patterns (Strobe, Ascend Left and Ascend Right) and two stone types, black and verde, to give your bath time a boost. 61 N.E. 40th St.