1 of 17
The former estate of Merritt and Rhoda Adamson, whose family started Malibu Potteries, features colorful handmade tiles throughout.
2 of 17
Old World Charms
Adamson House is a potpourri of styles. The grandfather clock is likely a 1920s piece from Barker Bros. in Los Angeles, which sold Spanish Colonial reproduction furniture. Malibu Potteries designer Inez Johnson von Hake created the eclectic tiled table. The lamp and urn are Italian hand-painted earthenware. The blue ceiling and burnished walls, which symbolize sky and earth, echo the natural vista outside.
3 of 17
Down to its intricate fringe, the Persian-style tile "carpet" in the loggia, above and left, was conceived for the house by William Handley, a designer for Malibu Potteries. The elaborate pattern, which includes more than 670 tiles, was created using cuerda seca glazing.
4 of 17
Glass doors with a wrought-iron grille bring light and ocean views to the hall -- an early example of California's indoor/outdoor living.
5 of 17
The baseboard skirting is composed of tiny individual tiles set into a motif that continues up the stairs.
6 of 17
The dining room's frescoed ceiling consists of painted, wood-framed plaster panels that echo the rhythm of the floor tile.
Swipe here for next slide
7 of 17
The kitchen's geometric patterns have been described as Pueblo Deco, in contrast with the Moorish motifs in the rest of the house. The ceramic clock above the table was a stock item from the Malibu Potteries catalog.
8 of 17
The upstairs hall with its ironwork railings and scored oak floor features decorative painting by two Danish artists who spent a year accenting doorways, ceilings, and furniture. The linen closet doors are adorned with trompe l'oeil "carvings."
9 of 17
Viking and Venetian galleys, an ocean liner, and a clipper ship navigate the bright-blue-tiled walls of Merritt Jr.'s bathroom.
10 of 17
A closeup of the bathroom tile.
11 of 17
The Adamsons planted a flowering coral tree outside the bathroom shared by their daughters, Sylvia and Rhoda May.
12 of 17
The floral patterns on their Belgian silk bedspreads mimic the tree's red-orange blooms. The bedroom's ceiling was painted by Danish artists, who also decorated the bookcase.
Swipe here for next slide
13 of 17
The Malibu Potteries bathroom tile also takes its inspiration from the flowers just outside the window.
14 of 17
Each of the home's six bedrooms has its own bathroom, where walls, floors, and even some ceilings are tiled.
15 of 17
The Peacock Fountain, just outside the loggia, captures the colors of the Pacific. One tile to the left of the urn was set backward; it's believed to be a deliberate error reflecting the Islamic belief that perfection comes only from God.
16 of 17
Designed for sunset viewing, the tiled patio features a built-in fireplace for warming up on chilly Malibu evenings.
Popular in Suburban and Country Homes