Latest Interiors looks at the latest trends in tiles for the home
New wall and floor tiles give bathrooms, kitchens, and even hallways an instant update. Tiles are hardwearing and practical, but the vast range of colours, textures and high fashion prints and patterns make them perfect for bringing your home into the now. They’re also great value. This week, Latest Interiors has a night – or, rather, an afternoon – on the tiles.
Back to nature
On the one hand, tiles made from natural materials like stone, slate and travertine are simple and beautiful, giving classic, understated style to any space. Natural tiles have been used in homes and buildings for centuries. Limestone is a classic finish for period hallways, and looks great in bathrooms. Travertine has a more variegated appearance, and is also available in a rage of forms and tones, including polished, honed and tumbled. Marble gives a cool, glossy finish. All of these natural materials will look fabulous on walls or floors.
Made for you
Ceramic tiles are just as versatile as stone. They can also be more affordable, easier to work with, and offer a greater choice of colour and finish. Unlike natural stone, ceramics can offer uniform, clean lines, and are perfect for a contemporary look. For a more traditional finish, terracotta, encaustic and mosaic tiles are just right for period halls, bathrooms and conservatories.
Colour and pattern are still a huge trend, though, and we love quirky folk and botanical motifs to add character to a room. To update wall tiles, retro prints and architectural designs with prints and styles from the ’40s and ’50s, Victorian botanical illustrations, Majolica, and metallics (think aged silver or bronze) are all key style themes. For something simple but striking, choose vibrant coloured glass tiles and mosaics which give a sleek, almost luminescent finish. Paler shades of blue and aqua glass work very well against wood, steel or granite worktops. Coloured grout can help to bring out the colour of tiles, or add contrast.
Shape & size
Playing around with different textures or sizes can make a big difference to a space. Outsized, rectangular tiles and flagstones on walls and floors are popular, and can help to make small spaces seem bigger. For small bathrooms, choose large, rectangular wall tiles to enhance the sense of space. Mosaics are coming back too – we love the glass and metallic mosaics at Fired Earth. Smaller mosaics, in ceramic or glass, can make a stunning feature wall. You can also vary tile sizes within a space – use smaller square or oblong mosaic tiles to mark the borders of a room, with larger tiles in the centre, for a very Victorian floor. A single row of small, coloured tiles along the top of splashbacks or worktops can also be a neat way of adding colour to a kitchen.