retro tile

amy mescia
Amy Mescia, founder and director of Oscar & Izzy tiles

A few years ago I saw my first bathtub and shower surround tiled in with a “crazy quilt” of all different tiles, and it was love at first site. If you love color and pattern, heck, going crazy quilt means can have it all. Designer Amy Mescia — with her new company Oscar & Izzy — now has channeled this very idea, creating a everylasting gobstopper portfolio of kitschy, happy, colorful kitchen and bathroom tiles all with a mid mod retro flair. Also brilliant: These tiles are printed onto Dal-Tile 4″ or 6″ blanks… the field colors harmonize with the solid colors in the Daltile line — so you can mix and match. There are no other decorative tiles on the market like this today, we think. I LOVE THEM. 
.retro tile backsplash

I’ve been doing the back-and-forth with Amy, including a phone call, and I also LOVE the story of her tiles:  She is a graphic artist by trade, and one day, she saw an email from her alma mater, Kutztown Universityasking for a designer to create some custom tiles for an episode of ABC’s Extreme Home Makeover. A thread running through the design was “patchworks”, and Amy volunteered to join the Extreme Home effort. Her role was to create, in three days (!), the patchwork kitchen backsplash — shown completed, just above. From this volunteer work, her new venture at tile entrepreneur was born.

oscar and izzy tiles retro renovationAmy explains:

I have always been drawn to bright, bold colors and was never afraid to incorporate them into my designs, whether during my advertising career or for my own branding business, Oscar Design Studio. But my love of color took a new turn in 2010, when I contributed design work to ABC’s Extreme Home Makeover. There, my task was to design kitchen tiles that could brighten up the home of a young mother-to-be, who tragically lost her husband. I incorporated retro, bright and bold emotion-changing [pam’s emphasis] colors.

amys advice

After such a moving experience, I launched the tile line as an extension of my design studio. The name I chose: Oscar & Izzy, the names of my artistic grandparents. My tile lines are influenced by a combination of Scandinavian and 1950’s retro art. The “Folksy Love” line draws inspiration from the country roads and farmlands of Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, where I grew up. The “Kitschy Kitchen” line stems from my fond memories of visiting my grandparents and exploring their endless collection of retro knick-knacks. Finally, as I absorbed the effects of the Japan tsunami and earthquake, I focused on the power of nature while creating Earth Quads. Each line has a distinct flavor, but all the tiles have one thing in common: color, and lots of it.

retro tileAmy sent me one of the tiles — the two-flowered tile, just above — and I can attest, these look to be very nice quality. Amy works with The Tile Mural Store, which digitally prints her images onto Daltile “blanks”, then has them glazed. These are great for backsplashes in kitchens and as trim tiles in bathrooms — but they are likely not suitable for heavy wear like an entire tub/shower surround that would likely require continuous, potentially abrasive cleaning. Amy also has some narrow trim tiles to go with — so I could see using some of the squares in concert with some of the narrower rectangles… and as I mentioned, you could match up these tiles to standard colors in the Daltile range to make your money go further.

modern backsplash tileSo how much? The dealers set the prices, and Amy checked with one retailer in metro Philadelphia, where she lives. The 6″ tiles sell for about $18, the 4″ tiles, for about $14. So: Not inexpensive, but my goodness, what an impact for the right space. That Extreme Home backsplash — 6″ tiles, 42 designs, each repeated 6 times, for a total of 366 tiles. I’m tallying that up to $6,588, and thinking about the lotto. And yes, Amy says, there have been a few of these complete backsplashes sold.

retro tile from oscar & izzy as featured on copyrightAmy does not sell the tiles direct — you must go through a dealer, and her network is still in early stages. Contact Amy directly to get the lastest list of dealers.

See the Oscar & Izzy catalog — delicious!

Also, be sure to see Amy’s complete catalog, or “look book”, — the fastest ways to see all the designs –>

Finally, check out the video from the Extreme Home Makeover featuring Amy’s tile. Note how her patchwork in the kitchen backsplash is carried through in the carpet tiles in the playroom and the afghan on one of the beds — that is a perfect, brilliant, edited touch. And this is a dreamy house — Nicely Done, Ty & team!

Amy: I wish you the VERY BEST OF LUCK with your new venture. Go for it, girl!

  1. denise says:

    WOWZA!! I am very drawn to patchwork and I’m particularly fond of some of the Folksy and definitely the Earth Quad tiles.

    One never knows which direction life will take you — excellent job Amy!

  2. Wendy M. says:

    Amazing! I can visualize taking a pattern or two and scattering them amongst solid-colored tiles for my kitchen.
    I am in awe of your talent, Amy- keep up the great work!

  3. Marcheline says:

    Uh….. all together like that on one wall? No thanks. Kinda makes me feel woozy, like I’ve got the flu.


    Some of those tiles, used in conjunction with some solids as a backsplash? ABSOTOOTLY!!!

    My faves are the red cherry and the three red coffee cups stacked up with the little atomic design on them. Sweet!

  4. Maryanna says:

    I concur that I think they’d look better strategically-spaced on a solid field. (And be a lot more affordable, too!) But my oh my, they’re all soooo lovely. I don’t know which one I love the most! <3

  5. Meridtih says:

    Oh, wow!!!!!!!!

    When we finally get the funds to re-do/ un-do our master bath, those will be perfect. Gotta print this out and add it to my inspirations folder!

  6. pam kueber says:

    No one is talking me out of my ECSTATIC LOVE for the patchwork! To be sure, the tolerance for color/pattern is going to be personal. I also meant to put in the post: “Take THIS, Greige Nation!”

  7. Michelle says:

    So full disclosure — Amy has been my best friend since childhood. I’m so proud of her talent (even as kids she was decoupaging, painting, and designing). I was actually with her when she was designing these for Extreme Home. I love watching her work– she’s so good at what she does and really puts her heart into each piece. The “folksy love” line totally brings me back to our childhood. They aren’t just tiles — they evoke memories and emotions from within that I think people can relate to as they think about their own sense of “home.”

    I can’t tell you how much I’m in love with these tiles. I’ve seen them in person and they are really top notch. Whether you like a full patchwork effect or a “pop” of design to make your home unique, they are unlike anything I’ve seen. While they are very retro, there’s something fresh and modern about them that I just love. I think they would work with a variety of decorating styles.

  8. Marta says:

    Love the tiles. LOOOOOOOVE the house in the youtube video! Not crazy about the crazy quilt tiled backsplash mostly because it IS truly crazy quilt. I like my quilts to have some kind of balanced pattern. It’s a personality defect, I know. I’d do the quilt backsplash, but I’d do it in some kind of order. Well, if I had the extra $7k.

    I would definitely use the tiles as accent pieces, though. It would be like having that one really good painting on your wall. A 2’x2′ block of tiles over the cooktop, for instance. How magical would that be? Or an 18″ square of tiles mounted to a board with little rubber bumper feet on the bottom that you could use for a trivet, and be able to move it around where you want, and take it with you when you move. Oh my. I think I just found myself another project.

  9. Elaine says:

    I love those tiles! I was thinking along those lines when I ordered a big box of Mexican tiles, all different patterns. These are a lot more unique, with simpler, folksy americana patterns, easy on the eye. I like scattering a few among plain tiles because it gives each design its own impact. Now I have a dilemma. Mexican tiles? These tiles? Some of each?

  10. Jenny says:

    Oooh, I love these. I really like the crazy quilt pattern, too. If I were going to redo my kitchen, I’d incorporate these somehow. I know they’d make me feel really happy every time I’d walk in there. Heck, they make me happy just looking at them here on the screen.

  11. Rebecca says:

    Man, I LOVE that backsplash. It’s perfect in that kitchen. Wouldn’t be quite as perfect in mine, but thanks for letting us know about this resource. Wonderful designs!

  12. Jennifer Kepesh says:

    Oh, my! Check out the Lookbook on the Oscar and Izzy website–lots more designs, including some very cute “mod” themes. My fave is Whistler. These tiles are just wonderful.

  13. yma says:

    The tiles are now available for purchase directly from the Oscar and Izzy website. The prices have gone up, but I think they’re still worth it. Love the Earth quads.

  14. Toni says:

    I would have watched the video from extreme makeovers but It’s Private. So I couldn’t watch it.

  15. Joe Felice says:

    Most of these designs are beautiful, but I would never use all of them together. Too-much visual clutter for me. I wish I’d know about these when I remodeled my kitchen.

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