As with all good design, there are countless different takes on tiles from across the globe in all shapes, sizes, and patterns. Ranging from as small as a coin to as large as you like, there is an infinite array of styles to explore.
Nearly every home will have them, whether as your shower surround or kitchen splash-back, garden path or fireplace detail. These ceramic bricks are an integral part of decorative design. Here are our favourite tiles and where you may have seen them before…
The London Tube Tile
This iconic rectangular tile found in every tube station across the capital has made its way into home design – popular in bathrooms and kitchens.
What we love about the tube tile designs themselves is you can almost always tell exactly where you are. For example, Regent’s Park’s tunnels are coated in a rich velvety forest green tile, Covent Garden has a combination of sienna yellow and white, while Marylebone has a monochrome black and white ‘top hat and tails’ colour scheme.
In our Soholistic Spa, soothing grey tiles have been used on the back of the reception and nail bar. When paired with the grey wood shelving, crisp white towels and soft warm down lighting the ambiance is immediately set.
Some London stations even feature mosaics within the design, which have become ceramic icons of the city.
Tottenham Court Road has a circus mirage designed by Eduardo Paolozzi and Finsbury Park features a giant design of a hot air balloon, alive with intricate detail.
Dutch Delft Tiles
Dutch Delft Tiles are instantly recognisable, with their infamous crisp white background with little figures and scenes hand painted onto each, usually in a cobalt blue.
These tiles were originally designed to mimic the more expensive Chinese porcelain that was not as accessible to the general population. We love how such a simple combination of two colours can create a masterpiece in any setting.
With their renowned blue and yellow swirls, these tiles make you want to grab a glass of ice cold sangria and kick off your shoes.
These vibrant designs are found on the inside of churches and palaces, school houses and vegetable stores all the way from Seville to Barcelona.
Turkish Iznik Tiles
With cobalt blue, deep turquoise and coral red floral and geometric designs, Iznik tiles are used everywhere from the inside of vast domes to the lining of street steps.
These tiles can be seen in an array of beautiful shapes such as hexagons or more ornate designs with an Islamic influence. The recurring tulip motif has multiple meanings, from signifying feminine beauty to warding off evil.
Each country, city, religion and era has its own unique tile design. Each variation is wildly different from the next, and yet all the styles come from the same source – a blank ceramic slate.
Here are some of our very favourite tile designs within the interior design world:
Our Travelling Light tiles created for Balineum were an absolute joy to make for our pop up with C.P Hart. Inspired by an original Kilim fabric design, these large tiles have a stunning depth to them, thanks to the application of colour and glaze resulting in a beautiful handmade feel.
We paired these tiles with my ‘Travelling Light’ wallpaper, with hot pops of coral red throughout the scheme.
Wayne Pate’s new collection for Balineum is to die for. These lyrical creations are alive with magic and stunning texture, which can only be achieved on a hand painted design.
We love his imagination and how these simple forms can create such a stunning collection.
Capturing the true essence of Delft tiles, Polly Fern’s creations are so joyful and utterly charming.
Her ode to the original tile is clear, but with an added twist of more modern illustrations and colours which brings a whole new dimension to the design.
Last but never least is our very own Ruby Kean who has created the most stunning tiles that we would love to fill every room with! From the colour palette to each brush stroke, these designs are effortlessly exquisite and playful.