The Insider: New Collections with Earthly Elegance

Get back to nature with Ann Sacks’ latest designs. Our Chief Designer, DeeDee Gundberg, shows you how.


Written by Clinton Smith

10 Minute Read


Organic and original. Grounded and gracious. Elegant, yet earthy. Ann Sacks’ newest Elemental Hues collection is embedded with a serene sensibility. Its edited palette and fine textures defy categorization. Whether used in the countryside or a cosmopolitan city, its artisanal attributes connect us with our natural surroundings in a way that also grounds us. Both relaxed and refined, the collection reflects an understated elegance at its best. Here are a few highlights of the collection that debuts this month.


By the Grid

Savoy is a forever favorite for many Ann Sacks clients. With its graphic composition, the collection bridges the past and present, and works in both contemporary and classic interiors. To round out the line, the company has made some enviable new additions. Historically, you wouldn’t naturally turn to Savoy for a pop of color, but now that’s changed.

“We went into color development knowing we wanted to round out the very neutral Savoy palette with a strong color,” says DeeDee Gundberg, Chief Designer at Ann Sacks. “The final Juniper color, which sometimes looks green and sometimes looks blue—depending on the format and the light—was actually meant to read just green. But we were visiting the factory in Japan and were able to see all of their trials, and we were immediately drawn to the incredible layered tone of what is now our Juniper.” The depth of the glaze is stunning and unique, offering an unexpected richness.

Savoy also now has another shape option that complements the existing line.

“The thin stack is a perfect update to our Savoy mosaic options,” says Gundberg.
“It has an orderly composition that immediately reads modern, yet also still familiar.”


Great Glazes

Speaking of size, Ann Sacks’ Context collection also debuted tiles with new dimensions. Known for its rich, artisanal glazes, the stylish line is also a workhorse, offering an array of design possibilities.

“The new Context format is similar to the Savoy Large Stack, but in an even larger format,” says Gundberg. “We wanted to update both lines with this sort of ‘updated modern mosaic,’ but wanted to make them slightly different.” In turn, you get one large and one small for infinite combinations. And, as an eco-friendly reminder, Context tiles are made from a combination of reclaimed clay, bisque and sand that result in a 58.6% pre-consumer recycled content.
Their extreme durability makes them a good tile for areas prone to interior moisture.


Future Perfect

There’s a reason that terra cotta and terra cotta-inspired tiles have stood the test of time for centuries. Their patina (often sun-kissed). and versatility make them adaptable for all sorts of spaces—from utilitarian rooms, public corridors, outdoor spaces and even private quarters. Also, they exude a vibe that’s never too perfect or polished—all of their unique variations are celebrated and embraced to create one-of-a-kind rooms. Using the same product, you and your neighbor would never end up with the same outcome.

“Barisano feels familiar, yet fresh, because it emulates everything we love about terra cotta,” says Gundberg. “The color variation, the rusticity, the organic nature of the edge detail, but in a more modern material.” That material is the ever-versatile porcelain tile. “Because we designed the collection using porcelain, Barisano is better equipped to handle everyday wear and tear and has a wider range of applications than traditional terra cotta. “And the palette is just so usable!” Indeed, it is—think soft creams and grays, black, and, of course, traditional earthy, terra cotta.


Striking Contrast/Portugese Panache

Looking to be transported on a daily basis, with no passport required? Ann Sacks’ Lisboa offers a veritable European adventure in your own home. Inspired by the cobblestone streets of Lisbon, the collection harkens to another culture and era.

“It was so satisfying to see our Lisboa collection come to life,” said Gundberg. “Several years ago we visited Lisbon and were blown away by the beautiful black-and-white cobblestone streets.” Upon leaving, the team knew they needed to somehow translate the patterns into a tile program, so Ann Sacks worked with its Portuguese factory to execute a smaller-scale version of the popular designs that could be used in homes.

“The technique for that incredible rustic edge is proprietary, but it’s what makes this program sing,” adds Gundberg. “Without that edge it would feel too formal and uniform and wouldn’t feel authentic to the streets of Lisbon.” While rustic, it can easily be used in contemporary interiors because of the striking black-and-white palette and dynamic geometric patterning.

Calacatta Viola

Purple Reign

It’s the marble that keeps on giving. Calacatta Viola is best known for its dazzling colorations and dramatic vein structure. It has gone from countertops and backsplashes to bookmatched fireplace surrounds and enviable shower wall slabs. Calacatta Viola is making its way throughout the house in some of the most unexpected spaces. Range hoods bedecked in the material appear almost monumental.

“The marble is having a very strong moment, and I don’t see it going away any time soon,” says Gundberg. “The rich, deep purple and burgundy and cream of the palette is truly spectacular. And while Viola is often seen in slab format, our new tile options allow for the dramatic look of viola with the flexibility of stone tile that is perfect for bathroom floors, shower walls, and backsplashes. And when this writer, embarking on a bath renovation, asked if the look is timeless or trendy, Gundberg answers: “Yes, use in your home! You will never tire of it!”


What’s Old is New Again

Summer in the South of France—what could be better? Hello, Provence. The smell of lavender. The bucolic landscape. The light that has inspired Picasso, Matisse and an array of artists. And when it comes to 19th-century barns and farm houses, this is where Ann Sacks’ Parefeuille collection finds its niche.

“Parefeuille has such a beautiful story,” says Gundberg. “The fact that these reclaimed terra cotta tiles were used as roofing tile or flooring in homes and farmhouses through France, and that we can have a piece of that history in our homes is truly special.” Furthermore, what’s so incredible is that something that was used in such a utilitarian way in the 1800s translates so beautifully today to interior design in the most perfect ways.

“Everything about the palette, the rusticity, the warmth and format,” adds Gundberg. “These are all qualities we seek out, and they are all so beautifully represented in this collection.”

Bar-On Studio


Bar-On Studio is best known for its unique decorative wall coverings, as well its expertise in curated concrete tiles and tiles with integrated lighting. The new Parallels collection from the company makes use of an innovative manufacturing technology that allows the studio to design three-dimensional tiles with numerous variations. Available in two designs—symmetrical and asymmetrical—the tiles create a simple, yet striking geometric pattern with their parallel lines. Focused on nuanced surface finishes, Bar-On Studio tiles not only add texture to a space, but also a three-dimensional surface off which light refracts and breaks. The result is a constant play of light and shadows to create a dazzling, magical effect.

July 20, 2023

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