Tile may reign supreme in the bathroom and kitchen, but there are a host of other interior spaces and objects we don’t traditionally associate with them that cry out for a tile-centric overhaul.
Some designers are ditching wallpaper and paint and finding whole new ways porcelain and ceramic tiles can add rhythm, color, pattern and scale to spaces – public and private.
At first glance, the bedroom may seem at odds with the tiled elements – but think again. The tactility and color pigments (especially the red hues of the terracotta) inject warmth into this private and cozy realm.
Handmade mosaics dot the Hotel d’Arles L’Arlatan, including in the rooms. Cuban-American artist Jorge Pardo oversaw the interiors, using 6,000 square meters of handmade tiles in different colors and shapes to create a kaleidoscopic effect underfoot. It’s a far cry from the building’s former life as a parking lot.
Tiling is a given in countries that regularly hit the 30 degree mark, but for colder climates there are other surfaces where tiling can be installed to dramatic effect.
The Roc Ancien line by Fiandre Architectural Surfaces is used to create a patterned headboard the size of a wall. Or you could follow Casa Ceramicaand pair huge patterned floor tiles with textured, tiled wall panels for a more maximalist effect.
Tiling can form a backdrop in living areas, contrasting with the generally ‘softer’ feeling of these spaces. Italian brand Ceramiche Refin’s Affrescati range uses traditional pigments to create porcelain tiles that look like painted surfaces, which can be used on floors as well as walls.
Floor tiles can also complement a minimalist interior design approach, like in this villa in Puglia. Villa Ostuni uses a neutral color scheme alongside a stone mosaic floor that connects the living space to the rest of the property.
And in this London pie and mash shop turned home, the tiles are the centrepiece, enveloping the ground floor of the building from floor to ceiling. The Victorian green and white wall tiles and clay colored floor tiles date from the commercial use of the building. They have been softened for a home space with the addition of built-in cabinetry. The glazed ceilings also evoke this lattice framework, while evoking the milky translucency of a Japanese shoji filter.
Dining rooms and restaurant interiors
Bing Ting Cafe, in Hull, England, has shown what is possible when restaurants go beyond the classic black and white bistro floor. The old butcher’s shop was already covered in ornate wall and floor tiles (the heritage-listed ones, no less). They find an echo in new expanses of tiling which take up the original colors. Studio Sam Buckley completed the look with brightly colored furniture and neon lighting.
Oversized tiles can also change the aesthetic, as shown by Hotel Palma Concepció by Nobis, which uses green and white tiles to contrast the stone arches of its restaurant.
In Chandigarh, India, Renesā Architecture has taken a more radical approach to tiling. The Tin Tin Restaurant is clad in a “mosaic matrix” made of hand-laid stone and terrazzo, enveloping the counters, dining areas and floors. The end result is a stunning collage of grids.
Madrid-based pastry shop Cara Mela used tiling to mark the transition from store to dining space. While the counter and lobby are adorned with pristine white tiles, it “spills” into a sea-green tiled area at the back of the bakery – filled with metal stools and tables for customers to enjoy. can perch and enjoy chocolate pies and toffee apples. This “zonal” use of style can also be translated into domestic spaces.
Tiles can also have an impact on the wall, as seen in furniture designer Max Lamb’s Working Tile seating series with Japanese brand TAJIMI.
You can also take inspiration from this Masquespacio-designed restaurant in Valencia, which took up the maximalist tiled walls on the furniture, covering the tables in a checkerboard pattern. Skirting boards, side tables, armchairs and alcoves are also good ceramic coverings.