I love encaustic (cement) tile. While working in Nicaragua my passion for this material was reignited. I can appreciate how throughout history it continues to be re-found and celebrated.  Its origins are as ancient as Pompeii where archeologists found chards of stone and glass embedded into cement floors.

Later, the Renaissance ushered in cement floors that were considered elaborate works of art. I remember how exquisite the tiles were in the Borgia apartments in the Vatican. The decorative arts of the French Belle Époque and Art Nouveau era reawakened the interest in this artisan finish. Monet’s home in Giverny features the material.

It’s easy to understand why appreciation of the material continues. It is very durable and affords endless possibility in design and color. The matte material has a beautiful chalky-ness. An added bonus is it is eco-friendly. It translates into modern interiors as easily as traditional. Recently at North in Tucson I saw an incredible installation done in patchwork which is on trend.  

Here are a few examples of tile from Nicaragua’s Granada Tile


El Huarache Loco Marin



Biscuit Studios

Kristin Rocke established K. Rocke Design in 2004. Working coast to coast and internationally, K. Rocke Design is widely respected for residential and hospitality work.

Kristin has been named as New Trad top ten and has had projects featured in Utah Style and Design, Florida Design, Traditional Home,  Conde Nast, Editor-at-Large, Williams Sonoma blog, Tastemaker on OKL and airs a monthly interior design segment on KUTV Fresh Living.  Kristin received her B.A. degrees from the University of Utah and is National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) certified.