To celebrate the launch of Hadeda x Tiles of Ezra, we interview founder, Georgia Ezra to learn more about her globally inspired design aesthetic; respect for the artisan makers of her signature Zellige tiles and glean her tips for a beautiful, sustainably designed home...
Tiles of Ezra was born out of your frustration at not being able to source good quality, authentic hand-made tiles for your projects as an interior designer – tell us more about what drew you to the aesthetic of Moroccan Zellige?
I have always been attracted to Mediterranean and Middle Eastern design, my father was born in India and his grandparents in Iran and Iraq so my ancestry naturally draws me to the intricacy of these styles.
"When I first saw Zellige I was in complete awe of this ancient art form. If it moved my heart in such a way, I knew it would move so many others."
As an interior architect who puts experiential design at the forefront of every decision made having the honour of supplying such artisan work to thousands of clients globally was a way that I knew I could change lives through my offerings.
You personally source tiles from artisans around the globe, what is important to you when looking for suppliers?
There a few things that are non negotiable:
Quality is so important when sourcing and manufacturing but most importantly, the fair and excellent treatment of every employee under our manufacturing. We deeply respect every man and/or woman that is part of the manufacturing process of our product. They are the reason we are able to have this business and so ensuring that they are paid and treated well is an incredible pressure that we put on all of the teams that we work with globally.
Sustainable and emotionally experiential design. Through everything that I do, the end user’s emotional wellbeing is at the core.
How would you describe your design signature?
For me, a really great designer is one that can bend and create a bespoke and exclusive response. Each and every one of my projects is considerably different from the other and each tells a story of our client. As I am very passionate about creating immediate surroundings that spark deep emotional and sensory satisfaction for them, I am always trying to explore and lead a journey to get us to a very unique place as the end result.
What you can expect to see is always a very wholesome, considered and warm interior with deep layering, priority of natural materials from the earth and handmade products throughout.
You can also expect a timeless design, not one that is responding to trends; a design that responds to the client’s true love produces a timeless interior compared to a contemporary one.
The furnishings, accessories and homewares. This includes but isn’t limited to window coverings and feature light fixtures, but of course the house is always going to be finished and dressed up by the furniture chosen and homewares throughout.
I’m always scouring for exclusive, unique, one of a kind items to finish off and dress up a home.
What would be your design tips for a client considering using Zellige in their homes?
Zellige is such a unique art form. Every single tile is entirely made by hand using clay from Morocco. Being able to put this product in your home is, and should always be, an honour. One of the most exciting and special things for me is that when you walk on the tiles you are essentially walking on the earth of Morocco (it blows my mind every time). I always say, respect and embrace the imperfection of the tile, this is its beauty!
Because the tile is moulded, fired, cut and finished off by a man or woman who has his/her own story, has his/her own family, is thinking thoughts just like you and I do, when you install these pieces of artwork their energy feeds off into your home.
"Zellige is not just a finish. It is an artform that gives you and your family the most beautiful feeling every single day lived your abode."
Other than tiles, which other materials do you like to incorporate into your designs?
Natural stone is a huge one. Oaks and timbers, handmade ceramics as light fixtures, steel, brass, iron (metals), quartzite, seagrass cloth and woven fabrics. Anything that comes from nature I love being really creative with.I love recycling/reusing fixtures from other places for example taking second-hand features like old French doors and implementing them into new design.
I tend to love exploring different cities and countries (when we can). That’s always where I’m finding and getting new hints of design.
I love going to markets, I love authentic artisan makers, sifting through fabrics, second hand book stores, finding inspiration in clothes and fashion. I find inspiration in the things that are around us.
What are your favourite design pieces in your own home?
- Crystal decanters that I sourced from different second-hand stores from Australia and overseas
- A seder plate which we sourced from Morocco
- A vintage mirror
- Heirloom artwork handed down from my parents
- A brass Menorah gifted by my brother and sister for my wedding
As a designer, where do you think it’s important to invest when renovating a home?
I 100% think the greatest investment for any renovation would be hiring an interior designer.
I would recommend employing an interior designer to best utilise the space practically for your home and best meet your budgets. Having an interior designer onboard will really allow you to maximise on the renovation experience without strain and stress.
Both companies are very passionate about handmade products and giving back to their artisan community. We are both looking at expanding art forms from economically developing nations to clients all around the world who normally wouldn’t have access to those products. We are both passionate about high treatment of our artisans and what they get back out of this symbiotic relationship and care deeply about our end user. We will always have the highest quality expectations in mind.
Which are your 3 favourite Hadeda pieces?
Cane ottoman; slipper armchair, connical natural cane pendant.
Interior Pic Credits: By Georgia Ezra at Studio Ezra. Hadeda product imagery, Katrina Lawson Johnston.