LOS ANGELES, CA -- The desire to decorate is an ancient human instinct. It can be traced back to the walls of Neanderthal caves and the etchings on Mesopotamian cooking vessels. "Decoration" is the 2014 theme for Walker Zanger, the world’s most comprehensive stone and tile company, and its new Duquesa collection fit the "decoration" motif flawlessly -- each individual Duquesa tile is hand-painted.

Duquesa, the Spanish word for "Duchess," draws its inspiration from diverse cultural influences, including Persian textiles, Portuguese tiles, Egyptian stone inlay and Chinese screens.

"With Duquesa, we wanted to create a collection that was historically influenced, yet clearly distilled through a contemporary filter," said Jared Becker, Vice President of Design and Marketing for Walker Zanger. "This new collection is equally fitting for a backsplash in a Manhattan brownstone, or a master bath in a Malibu retreat."

Handcrafted in the U.S., Duquesa achieves its "classic look through a modern lens" effect via a contemporary palette that varies from subtle combinations of navy and gray to bright Mediterranean blues and rich yellow ochre accented with metallic silver. Each tile is hand-painted on a cream background, creating a vaguely vintage look that resides comfortably in a home with historic roots -- or brings counterpoint and context to a newly-constructed space.

Duquesa offers over a dozen patterns in decorative floral patterns and geometrics, and an elegant diamond brick with earthy golds and blues. The collection is rounded out with six field tile colors, cream, navy, blue, gray and ochre.

 Duquesa tiles range in price from $52 to $130 per square foot; the collection will be available nationally in summer 2014.