the bouroullec brothers: pico collection for mutina

by Grace Bonney

I’m a shameless Bouroullec groupie. Since I was introduced to their work in 2003, I’ve eagerly awaited each and every update. For me, they’re the tippity top — always stretching to rethink something in a more creative, functional and beautiful way. If I could be their intern for a summer, I’d drop everything and go. I’m sure that just being in their presence for a few weeks would open my mind in such dramatic ways. Until that dream becomes a reality, I’m content to sit here and admire their newest work, a fantastic collection of ceramic tile for Mutina.

Their new Pico tile collection was designed to move away from the slick surfaces typically seen in tile and focus on the raw material itself, which is textured and beautiful. All of the Pico collection uses a matte finish — not your typical glossy tile coating. Available in neutrals like white, gray and sand, each tile has an irregular dotted finish that is available with small colored dots (my favorite option, in red and blue) to contrast against the background. That attention to detail creates a small but significant change that really makes the whole collection work for me. I’d love to use the gray tile with red dots in my kitchen; it’s the sort of neutral that feels clean and minimal with just a spot of color to warm it up. The collection officially launches this September at the Bologna trade fair, but until then, you can click here to check out the Bouroullecs’ work on their website. Well done again, Ronan and Erwan. xo, grace

More images continue after the jump . . .

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  • How exactly do you clean a matte, irregularly bumpy tile? That’s kind of why most tile has that glossy surface and we tend to use it in areas that need a lot of cleaning like the kitchen and the bathroom. Unless you don’t actually cook in your kitchen, I can’t see it being very practical.

  • My thoughts exactly – cleaning nightmare! It does look great though, maybe the solution is a clear glaze that would reveal the texture without the germ troubles.

  • My first thought was “Wow, that’s pretty”, followed a split second later with “But what about cleaning it?” I think over time the recesses within the tiles would appear dingy. As for the bumpy one, well, it might be nice along an often unused wall or shelf (or ceiling!), but not so great for walking on.

  • This would be awesome as an artsy brick pattern of these types of tiles along the wall–there’s so many possibilities here, more than just a kitchen tile

  • The desire to reach out and touch is almost painful! An almost edible texture, very, very yummy.
    I can’t believe the Bouroullecs haven’t factored in hygiene, it just doesn’t seem like them to design for design’s sake alone…to be continued or, as we say in French, “à suivre”?

  • I would not worry about cleaning because I have a great steam cleaner. These are beautiful.

  • Just got this collection for my son’s bathroom, blue dot grey on the wall and up blue on the floor. Let’s see how maintaining them will work

    • How has the maintenance been since you’ve had the tile? Considering it, but would love some feedback from a user in the wild.

      • I am wondering about maintenance as well. I would like to use them as a backsplash.

  • I live in Australia and would love to purchase the Pico dot tile. Would someone please tell me who stocks this range – any stockist anywhere in the world would be great, thank you. Elizabeth